It’s about time….three and a half months after his death from lung cancer, actor Sherman Hemsley will finally be allowed a burial. A judge ruled that Flora Enchinton Bernal, a longtime female friend and business partner of Hemsley’s, can take over his estate and proceed with burying the actor, who starred in The Jeffersons and Amen.
Hemsley’s body has been refrigerated in an El Paso funeral home since his death on July 24 thanks to a legal tussle between Bernal and Hemsley’s half-brother 78-year-old Richard Thornton, who had his own plans for Hemsley’s funeral.
Thornton’s attorney, Mark Davis, said afterward that he would seek an immediate stay of Chew’s ruling to prevent the burial from taking place. He said they will eventually appeal.
Court documents indicate Hemsley’s estate is worth more than $50,000. Thornton’s daughter, Louise Thornton, said her father “didn’t come after money.”
“He came to bury his brother,” she said. “And they turned the whole thing into a three-ring circus.”