Mickey Rooney tells Senate panel about elder abuse
Actor Mickey Rooney spoke out in Washington on Wednesday about the elder abuse he says he experienced at the hands of his stepson, urging Congress to take action on the greater issue.
"If elder abuse happened to me, Mickey Rooney, it can happen to anyone," the 90-year-old Andy Hardy actor said in emotional testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
His complaints to the committee stemmed from alleged abuse by Christoper Aber, 52, the son of Rooney's wife Jan Chamberlin. Rooney claimed Aber intimidated and bullied him, denied him access to his mail and barred him from food and medication.
"My money was taken and misused. When I asked for information, I was told that I couldn't have any of my own information," Rooney told the committee. "I was literally left powerless."
Last week, a Los Angeles judge granted Rooney a restraining order against Aber and handed control of Rooney's affairs to an attorney, who will serve as a temporary conservator. Aber and his wife, Christina Aber, were additionally ordered to give back Rooney's ID and passport.
Rooney urged Congress to enact legislation to bolster law enforcement's response to those experiencing elder abuse, which can range from financial exploitation to neglect or physical harm. He urged victims to speak out to "end the cycle of abuse and do not allow yourself to be silenced any longer."
The Oscar-winning actor starred in 1944's "National Velvet" alongside Elizabeth Taylor. The film took home the Academy Award for best picture that year. He recently appeared in "Night at the Museum" and has made various television appearances.
— Nardine Saad
Reuters contributed to this report.
Photo: Mickey Rooney gives testimony before a Senate special committee in Washington on Wednesday. Credit: Rod Lamkey Jr. / AFP/Getty Images