Locked in a bitter legal dispute with his own children, Buzz Aldrin was a no-show at a gala event on Saturday designed to raise money for the ShareSpace Foundation he created and to celebrate his signature achievement.
Aldrin skipped the black-tie Apollo Celebration Gala held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The event kicked off a year-long countdown to the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, which was accomplished by Aldrin and Neil Armstrong aboard Apollo 11’s lunar lander, Eagle, on July 20, 1969.
Aldrin is involved in a dispute over control of the foundation with two of his children, Andrew and Jan Aldrin. Buzz Aldrin has sued his children and his former business manager, Christina Korp, alleging misappropriation of funds, misuse of credit cards and slandering him with claims of dementia.
Andrew and Jan Aldrin had earlier filed a court petition saying their father is suffering from memory loss, dementia and confusion.
Buzz Aldrin issued a statement to Florida Today explaining his absence from the event.
“While initially looking forward to it, due to the present course of events related to my space initiative, also current legal matters linked to the ShareSpace Foundation, I have decided not to attend at this time. As some of you are aware, I formed ShareSpace Foundation in 1998 for the promotion of individual space voyagers. However, the foundation is, in my view, now being used to promote quite different objectives. I was recently advised by way of a letter from an attorney for my son, Andrew Aldrin, that I was not to hold myself as being part of the foundation. To those of you attending the gala tonight, I wish you a most pleasant evening. Ad Astra!”
Andrew and Jan Aldrin issued a statement on Saturday thanking attendees and saying that Buzz is still part of the foundation.
“It has been an honor to celebrate the heroes of Apollo, with crew members in attendance from the Apollo 7, 9, 10 & 17 missions as we lead up to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and next summer’s Gala. On a personal note, we were disappointed not to be celebrating with the most important of those heroes to us, our father. But we remain committed to honoring his legacy as a true American hero through the important work of our family foundation. He is still a part of the foundation and its board of directors. We look forward to continuing our work together in the future.”