Jay Leno Announces Devastating Personal News

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

According to recent court records, Mavis Leno, the wife of Jay Leno, is suffering from advanced dementia and is losing her memory. At times, she is unable to identify her husband or recall her own date of birth.

As part of a conservatorship petition that Jay Leno started in January, the 77-year-old’s condition was described in depth in a recent report that her court-appointed attorney, Ronald Ostrin, filed.

In order to build a living trust for Mavis and ensure her future care through managed assets, particularly in the case of his death, Jay Leno, 73, applied for conservatorship. In the conservatorship documents—which PEOPLE first revealed—the former “Tonight Show” host revealed his wife’s condition.

According to the court filings, Mavis, with whom he has been married since 1980, has been dealing with serious health issues. Mavis “has a lot of disorientation,” according to the article, and “will ruminate about her mother who died about 20 years ago and her parents who have both passed away.”

Despite these challenges, Mavis’s court-appointed attorney acknowledged that “it was clear she had cognitive impairment” but still called her a “delightful person” with a “charming personality.” Ostrin said that Mavis sees Jay as “her protector and she trusts him,” characterizing their union as “long-term, loving, and supportive.”

In January, Jay Leno requested conservatorship. Mavis “does not object” to the filing, according to Ostrin, but she “consents to it.” Ostrin formally suggested that Jay’s petition to be appointed custodian of his wife’s inheritance be granted as a result. Dr. Hart Cohen, Mavis’s neurologist, also endorsed the conservatorship petition.

Dr. Cohen said that Jay is “such a nice man and treats [Mavis] like gold,” praising both his character and how he treats Mavis. Ostrin, the attorney chosen by the court, concurred and praised Jay’s moral character. According to Ostrin, the former host of “The Tonight Show” is “a standup guy,” and his “private persona matches the public persona he projects.”

Mavis is well-known for her charitable endeavors, especially her support of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s campaign against gender discrimination in Afghanistan. In the entertainment world, the couple is well-known for their enduring marriage, which is frequently emphasized for its rarity.

But unlike her husband, Mavis has largely avoided the spotlight in favor of her activism and advocacy work. Since Jay Leno is an enthusiastic vehicle collector, they have forged a collaboration that strikes a balance between their personal and professional lives. They also have common interests in philanthropy and, to some extent, cars.

The Lenos made the unusual decision to forgo having children, which has given them more freedom in their lives and jobs. Mavis has openly discussed her decision, stating that she never wanted children.

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