NEW TRAGEDY ROCKS ANNETTE FUNICELLO
New fears for beloved Disney Mouseketeer ANNETTE FUNICELLO as things take a turn for the worse.
Months after she was forced out of her home by a devastating fire that nearly killed her Annette has been slapped with a lawsuit filed by her former neighbors.
They claim their property was contaminated with toxins from the blaze that engulfed Annette’s house.
“This seems so cruel,” an insider said. “It’s the latest in a string of horrible tragedies that have robbed Annette of everything – her voice, her health, her home, her possessions. She’s a virtual prisoner in her own body because of multiple sclerosis.
“She was left with practically nothing after the fire. She escaped the blaze and is still courageously fighting to live. But the torment of that terrifying day still isn’t over.”
Neighbors sued the former teen icon, claiming that charred waste, rubbish and other ruins of the Encino, Calif., home in which Annette and her second husband, Glenn Holt, 81, lived, weren’t cleaned up for months.
The neighbors are seeking at least $25,000 in compensation “to cover wage loss, medical expenses and property damage,” according to the lawsuit.
The home was destroyed on March 10, 2011, when a raging inferno broke out about 7 A.M. while Annette, Glenn and a housekeeper slept.
Annette was saved by her husband, who got her into a wheelchair and pushed her outside. Their housekeeper also managed to escape the raging inferno – but all three were treated for smoke inhalation.
The residence, which suffered an estimated 800,000 in damages, was finally demolished in July.
In addition to her personal belongings, Annette lost a lifetime’s worth of cherished memorabilia.
Annette’s ex-husband, Jack Gilardi, said she and Glenn ultimately decided not to rebuild and instead purchased a place in Bakersfield, Calif. He added that Annette and Glenn sold the ravaged property – and most of the fallout from the fire has been settled.
But Annette’s dire condition remains the same.
The star, who has battled cruel Ms for 26 years, is nearly blind, needs an oxygen tank to breathe, and is unable to walk or talk. She communicates by blinking her eyes. But she is not forgotten.
In a recent interview Frankie Avalon, who co-starred with Annette in the 1960s “Beach Party” movies, urged fans to keep Annette in their hearts.
“I call and leave messages but it’s very difficult to communicate with Annette,” Avalon revealed. “I don’t know if she even knows what’s going on around her. But I continue to pray for her.”
The insider said, “You have to wonder when the suffering is going to end.”