Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s Kin Claim He’s ‘Brainwashed’ : Celebrity: Former psychologist is accused of controlling his life. The singer shows up at a press conference to challenge cousin’s petition to become his conservator.
The long-playing, woe-filled ballad of Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s return from mental illness and substance abuse took a bizarre turn on Monday as Wilson’s cousin filed a court petition claiming that the rock singer has been “brainwashed” by a former psychologist who has taken control of Wilson’s recording enterprises.
Even as the charges were being outlined at a Los Angeles press conference, Wilson walked in--uninvited--to respond to the claims by his cousin, former professional basketball player Stan Love.
Wilson, glaring icily, took over the lectern during the suddenly tense press conference and angrily denounced the legal action.
“I think (the charges) are outrageous . . . out of the ballpark,” Wilson said, even while his attorney exchanged words and glares with Love’s associates.
Speaking for only a few moments, Wilson told reporters that he performed twice with the Beach Boys on Sunday in San Francisco and denied allegations that he has been brainwashed into rejecting his mother, two daughters and other members of the Wilson family.
“I feel great and my life is back on track,” Wilson said, adding: “I see who I want to see and I am in charge of my own life.”
He declined, however, to answer questions concerning his personal and professional involvement with Eugene Landy, the so-called “psychologist to the stars” who treated Wilson for several years before 1988.
In 1989, Landy voluntarily surrendered his license to practice psychology in California as part of a settlement with the state involving charges of professional misconduct, including having sex with a female patient. As part of the settlement, Landy admitted to a single charge of unlawfully prescribing drugs and agreed not to petition for reinstatement for two years.
Since abandoning his practice, Landy has worked as Wilson’s partner in a Santa Monica-based record-producing company called “Brains and Genius,” where Landy develops projects and co-writes songs, said Wilson’s attorney, John Mason.
Love, who filed a request in Santa Monica Superior Court to become Wilson’s conservator, accused Landy of taking “extensive control” over Wilson’s business deals and personal affairs, to the point that “he is unable to properly provide for his personal needs for food, clothing, housing and physical or mental health.”
A hearing on Love’s petition was set for June 22.
Love, who said he was acting on behalf of the rest of Wilson’s family, said he hopes that the court will order independent psychological and psychiatric evaluations of Wilson and permit members of the singer’s family to learn the full extent of his financial involvement with Landy.
The monetary stakes involve “Brian Wilson’s estate, whatever (dollar amount) that is,” said Love’s attorney, Thomas M. Monson. “We do expect it to be in excess of $1 million, certainly.”
“He’s totally controlled . . . a puppet,” Love said of the singer. “I’ve made 50 to 100 phone calls trying to see Brian. I can’t even have any access to him.”
Love, a former forward for the Lakers who is the brother of Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love, also charged that Brian Wilson “has not been allowed to see his mother for more than five hours in the past five years and . . . has not been allowed to spend more than five hours in that five years with his two daughters.
“I feel Brian is being held a virtual hostage,” he added.
Landy did not return phone calls from The Times.
Wilson’s mother, Audree Wilson, said she supported the actions by Love and called Landy “the worst news that ever happened” to her son.
“I think he’s pretty well brainwashed Brian,” Audree Wilson said in a telephone interview. “He manipulates him, that’s all I know. He just hasn’t been a free guy.”
Although she regularly receives phone calls from her son, she has given up trying to contact Brian on her own, she said. “If he calls you, that’s great,” she said. “But . . . you can’t get through to him. If you call his home, you get the answering machine. To get through to him you have to go through the office--and you’re put on hold. It’s just a crock. I won’t be so insulted. That’s my son!”
Other members of the family could not be reached for comment.
Wilson’s daughters, Carnie and Wendy, are successful singers who are now performing in Europe. Beach Boys Carl Wilson, Alan Jardine, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston are also on tour.
Love claimed to have support for his petition from the two daughters and the Beach Boys singers. But a publicist released a statement saying members of the group would withhold comment on the charges until they could investigate the issue.
Wilson’s attorney, Mason, questioned how the band members could be supporting the charges when they were appearing on stage with Wilson again Monday night in San Francisco. Last year Brian Wilson did 50 shows with the group, Mason said.
“How can he be keeping everyone away from him when they’re performing together?” the attorney asked. “This whole thing of Stan’s is preposterous.”