John Singleton’s Family Fights for Control of His Affairs After Stroke


The family of John Singleton, the director, producer, and screenwriter best known for his 1991 film “Boyz N the Hood,” is fighting for control of his business affairs after he suffered a stroke; his mother is seeking to be appointed his temporary conservator, and claims Mr. Singleton is in a coma, which several of his children dispute.

Mr. Singleton, 51, had a stroke on April 17 and was hospitalized in an intensive care unit. At the time, his family said in a statement that he was under “great medical care.”

A native of South Los Angeles, Mr. Singleton has directed more than 10 films and TV series, including the recent FX crime drama “Snowfall” starring Damson Idris. For “Boyz N the Hood,” his debut feature film, Mr. Singleton was nominated for best director. He has also directed classics like “Poetic Justice” and “Rosewood.”

On Thursday, Mr. Singleton was reportedly in a coma, and his mother, Sheila Ward, filed papers in court in Los Angeles.

The papers say that at the time of the stroke, Mr. Singleton was engaged in several business deals and had been set to sign a lucrative settlement agreement on or around April 30, The Associated Press reported. The documents say that if a conservator cannot sign the papers on his behalf, it will mean a big financial loss.

In an email to The New York Times, his daughter Cleopatra Singleton disputed these claims. “Contrary to the representations being made by my father’s mother, Sheila Ward, my father is not in a coma,” Ms. Singleton said. “My father had a stroke on April 17, 2019, and at this point we are optimistic about a full recovery.”

“Myself, several of my siblings, and my father’s father will oppose my grandmother’s application to be appointed my father’s legal conservator,” she continued.

She said that the family is to have a hearing Friday “on whether or not my grandmother should become the temporary conservator over my father’s personal and business estate.”

It is not the first time his family has feuded publicly — one of his sons wrote an open letter in 2016 accusing Mr. Singleton’s mother of being manipulative and controlling. Mr. Singleton’s lawyer, agent and manager declined to comment on his condition.

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