The son of Steve Lawrence, one-half of the 1950s duo Steve and Eydie, is being accused of exploiting his father, who is suffering from dementia. Lawrence's longtime companion, Judy Tannen, made the allegations in new legal documents obtained by TMZ over the weekend. Lawrence and his late wife Eydie Gorme scored several hits in the 1950s and early 1960s, including "Sentimental Me," "I Want to Stay Here" and "I Can't Stop Talking About You."
Tannen claims she has been working with Lawrence for over 64 years and the two "leaned heavily in each other for emotional support and companionship" after Gorme's death in 2013, she claims in the documents. The two have lived as companions since 2014. She notes that Lawrence's estate plan allows her to live in Lawrence's home for up to five years after his death. She is also set to inherit half of the Steve and Eydie music business, with the other half going to Lawrence and Gorme's son David Lawrence.
In her documents, Tannen claims David is "malevolently keeping Judy from fulfilling her promise to take care of Steve through thick and thin." She claims Lawrence is suffering from dementia. She accused David of stripping her of all rights to care for Lawrence while she was hospitalized with COVID-19 in February. She also claims David is only allowing her to make a few visits to Lawrence.
Tannen also accused David of selling off some of Lawrence's assets, including a Las Vegas home and a Los Angeles apartment. She claims he used $74,000 of his father's money to record music. Tannen and her attorney, Adam Streisand, asked the court to give her power of attorney and strip David of his powers. Tannen took her case to court because it is "necessary to protect Steve from continued isolation and abuse at the hands of his avaricious son, David, and to confirm Judy's powers to take the actions necessary for Steve's protection," the documents read, reports PEOPLE. David has not responded to the allegations.
In June 2019, Lawrence, 85, revealed he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in a letter released by his spokesman. "I have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s in the early stages," the letter read. "I am being treated with medications under the supervision of some of the finest doctors in the field. Fortunately, they have managed to slow down this horrific process. I’m living my life, going out in public, and trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends while I am still able to engage and enjoy."
Lawrence began his music career in the 1950s. He scored several hits on his own, including "Go Away Little Girl," Pretty Blue Eyes," "Footsteps" and "Portrait of Love." Gorme and Lawrence married in December 1957. They were married until Gorme's death in August 2014 at age 84. David is Lawrence and Gorme's eldest son. They were also parents to Michael Lawrence, who died in 1986 at age 23 from ventricular fibrillation caused by an undiagnosed heart condition.