MAD HEIRS BATTLED OVER ROONEY BODY

Published on: April 25, 2014
Photography by: Reuters
MAD HEIRS BATTLED OVER ROONEY BODY

BITTER family feud erupted over the remains of Mickey Rooney – and the Hollywood legend’s divided relatives wound up having TWO separate funeral services!

One set of family members paid their last respects at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery on April 19, while another set came by later to bid their final farewell.

“Sadly there was such a vicious family fight over his body that two separate ser­vices had to be held to keep the warring factions away from each other,” a source told The ENQUIRER. Rooney’s stepson Mark Aber and Mark’s wife, Charlene, held a private service on the afternoon of April 19, which was attended by family friends including actor Mickey Rourke.

Mark and Charlene – with whom Mickey lived in his final days – provided The ENQUIRER with a statement to show their elaborate efforts at honoring the beloved star.

“While some of the members of Mickey Rooney’s family were fighting over his funeral services, Mark and Charlene were busy arranging them,” they said in the statement.

Along with Rourke, guests also included actor/celebrity tattoo artist Mark Mahoney. The service was presided over by Reverend Gary Dickey, a friend of the late actor.

“With names like Rooney, Rourke and Mahoney, it was like a good ol’ Irish wake as they laughed and cried, sharing stories before closing in prayer,” the statement continued. “(It’s) something Mickey would have been very proud of.”

Later, another service took place at Holly­wood Forever – and that one was attended by some of Mickey’s eight children.

They also issued a statement, which read: “We miss our father terribly and mourn all the more because we were never allowed to be part of his life during those difficult last few years.”

After Mickey’s death on April 6 at the age of 93, a nasty family battle exploded over his remains and assets. As The ENQUIRER reported in our April 28, issue, the diminutive star had just $18,000 to his name when he died. The actor’s will, executed on March 11 in Alhambra, Calif., left the money to Mark Aber, but Mickey’s eight biological children will be disputing the will.

In addition, Mark’s mother Jan, Rooney’s es­tranged eighth wife, and her other son, Chris also are contesting the will. Mickey had accused Chris of elder abuse and stealing as much as $8 million from him. Abuse allegations against him were dropped in 2013 in return for a judgment of $2.9 million, which was “uncollectible” because Chris had declared bankrupt­cy a year earlier. “Jan wanted Mickey buried elsewhere, in a cemetery plot outside Hollywood, but it appeared that Mark and Charlene followed Mickey’s wishes,” said the source.

“Mickey ended up at the famous cemetery where other Hollywood greats are laid to rest. But he went off to eternity with hardly a red cent in his pocket – and his family is still fighting over him.”