Jay Leno granted conservatorship over his wife due to dementia diagnosis

Jay Leno (R) and wife Mavis Leno (L) attend the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. Jay was granted a conservatorship over his wife on April 9, 2024 as Mavis lives with "advanced dementia.". Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic via Getty Images.

Jay Leno was granted a conservatorship over his wife’s estate on Tuesday by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge who ruled the measure was “necessary and appropriate” for Mavis Leno’s protection.

Mavis, 77, lives with “advanced dementia” and Jay’s conservatorship petition is supported by her neurologist Dr. Hart Cohen.

Cohen told the court that Jay, 73, is “such a nice man and treats (Mavis) like gold,” according to People.

Mavis and the former Tonight Show host have been married for 43 years and enjoy a “long-term, loving and supportive relationship,” according to a filing made by Mavis’ court-appointed lawyer, Ronald Ostrin, who is also in support of the conservatorship.

After speaking to Mavis and her doctor, Ostrin told the court that she “sometimes does not know her husband, Jay, nor her date of birth,” and that she “has a lot of disorientation.” Mavis also tends to “ruminate about her parents who have both passed,” the filing reads, as reported by NBC News.

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Mavis consented to the conservatorship and “trusts” her husband, Ostrin said.

Jay Leno on the set of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” with his wife Mavis on December 31, 1992. Joseph Del Valle/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

During Tuesday’s hearing, the late night legend was found to be “suitable and qualified” to be Mavis’ conservator. The judge added that a conservatorship was the “least restrictive alternative” to ensure her protection.

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Mavis’ dementia diagnosis was revealed when Jay first filed for a conservatorship in January. He wrote that his wife had been “progressively losing capacity and orientation to space and time for several years.”

Jay’s motive for filing the petition was to set up a trust for Mavis to ensure her long-term care if he were to die before her, he wrote in the filing. Jay added that he has primarily managed the couple’s finances throughout their marriage.


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