ABC News’ ‘Who Do You Believe?’ aims to provide the viewers with several sides of the same story, providing an insight into different true-crime cases through various perspectives. The second episode, ‘Protector vs. Predator,’ delves into the legal saga behind actor Nichelle Nichols’ conservatorship. While her son, Kyle Johnson, is now the primary caregiver, her former manager, Gilbert Bell, played a significant role in her life. So, let’s find out what happened to him then, shall we?
Who is Gilbert Bell?
Gilbert met Nichelle over lunch sometime in 2009. At the time, it was revealed that she was in a financial bind because her primary sources of income — conventions and appearances — weren’t coming by as often as she would have liked. Then, Gilbert became Nichelle’s manager and helped her book more appearances at conventions and other acting projects. Soon, Nichelle’s income took an upswing, with Gilbert claiming that her bookings went up from a couple a year to at least three in a month.
By 2010, Gilbert was living at Nichelle’s guesthouse; he lived rent-free initially but began paying $300 per month in rent about two years later. After Nichelle’s hospital stay in 2013 due to pancreatitis, she was moved to a nursing home. Later, Gilbert reportedly helped move her back to her residence against medical advice and without consent from the family. Around the same time, Gilbert became in charge of Nichelle’s health care and financial decisions when she signed documentation for the same.
The two grew close over the next few years, and after Nichelle’s stroke in 2015, Gilbert brought in caregivers and physical therapists to assist. Then, sometime in 2018, Gilbert and Nichelle discussed getting married to protect her financially. Around this time, Kyle — who, according to Gilbert, was not really in Nichelle’s life until then — petitioned for conservatorship. As a result, the court removed Gilbert’s power of attorney, with Kyle being appointed as the caregiver.
Kyle and Nichelle’s loved ones accused Gilbert of elder abuse. They claimed that he isolated her from family, removed her from medical care, transferred ownership of the house to himself, and in general, misappropriated her finances. But according to Gilbert’s lawyer, Nichelle didn’t want Kyle to take charge of her affairs and “begged him (Gilbert) to live on her property for free.
Where is Gilbert Bell Now?
In August 2021, Nichelle’s property was sold by Kyle, who then moved her to New Mexico. Gilbert, who lived on the property until a few weeks prior, was confirmed to have moved out. He claimed to have not seen Nichelle since April 2019 and expressed disappointment with the sale, adding, “Her home is gone. It’s been sold out from under her. She would be horrified if she knew that. She was proud of [that house]. She designed it. She helped build it. She planted the trees on it. It was a dream come true for her.” In 2019, he seemingly sued Kyle for personal injury. From what we can tell, Gilbert, who has a background in producing in the entertainment industry, now lives in Los Angeles, California.
Read More: Where is Kyle Johnson Now?