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Before The Monkees‘ star Mike Nesmith died in 2021, some fans raised concerns that he was being mistreated, leading to accusations of elder abuse. Things persisted to the point that his manager spoke out against the stories. But Nesmith eventually responded, too. Read on to find out where the rumors came from and what he wanted people to know about them.

Mike Nesmith, pictured in 2019, waved off rumors of elder abuse late in his life.
Mike Nesmith | Steve Jennings/WireImage

The ‘terrible’ things people said while trying to prove elder abuse left Mike Nesmith in tears

In the years before he died at 78, Nesmith had formed a close companionship with a person who seemed to be a friend, employee, and perhaps more. And fans on social media accused that individual of mistreating the Monkee to the point of abuse.

A campaign started to “Save Michael Nesmith,” and social media users discussed all the signs that he was being forced to do things. His manager, Andrew Sandoval, addressed the rumors in a Facebook post from September 2021, months before Nesmith died.

“The campaign has collected a list of incidents and unflattering pictures in an effort to expose individuals as being abusers of the great man,” he shared. He said Nesmith called him “in bed and in tears over the terrible things people [were] saying about [him] online.”

Mike Nesmith was ‘aghast’ about rumors of elder abuse

Nesmith responded to the rumors of elder abuse during an interview with Rolling Stone that occurred shortly before his death. Some hardcore fanatics thought the “difficult” Monkee was being “starved, horribly abused, and gaslighted on a daily basis,” the Rolling Stone writer pointed out.

“I am aware of this,” Nesmith said. “And I’m aghast. I want to be like, ‘What the f*** are you people doing?”

“I’m a human being. You can’t just throw darts at me,” he declared. He said the theories were “all based in a fundamental non-truth.”

“I’m sitting here,” he concluded. “I’m fine! Please tell people that!”

When asked specifically about the individual some fans thought was behind his ailing condition, he waved off the talk. He said, “They then think she’s got Nez tied down and she’s feeding him poison. How did that get started? It’s never been true.”

To make it clearer, Nesmith offered, “Nobody is holding me captive.“

According to him, he did “exactly” what he wanted to do. And he added, “Especially with my financial condition and everything else.”

“I am the classic example of a guy that made it,” he noted. “I have nothing to complain about. Nothing at all.”

Mike Nesmith died of congestive heart failure


The Monkees Brought Mike Nesmith ‘a Lot of Joy at the End of His Life’

Nesmith was on tour with Micky Dolenz when he fell ill in 2018. He had a quadruple-bypass surgery and received a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, so they canceled the rest of that tour.

“If anybody ever comes up to you on the street and offers you [bypass surgery] for free, turn them down. It hurts,” Nesmith said of the procedure (per Rolling Stone).

The Monkee was given an indefinite window of time to live, and he wanted to hit the road with Dolenz before it closed. And it seems some fans might have mistaken symptoms of his progressing illness for signs of abuse at the hands of his companion.

Nesmith died on Dec. 10, 2021, and he and Dolenz played their last show less than a month before.

For help reporting suspected elder abuse, visit the website of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services or call the the Eldercare Locator by telephone at 1-800-677-1116.