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Jay Leno sees heartbreaking development in wife Mavis's dementia battle

New details of the former Tonight Show host's conservatorship petition have emerged

Jay Leno and Mavis Leno attend the private unveiling of the Meyers Manx electric automobile at Little Beach House Malibu on August 08, 2022 in Malibu, California
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
Online News WriterNew York
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Jay Leno is grappling with some difficult developments in his wife Mavis Leno's battle with dementia.

Back in January, the former Tonight Show host's wife's dementia battle was revealed after he filed for a conservatorship for her, in an effort to assure Mavis, 77, has a living trust set up in the case that he passes away before her.

Now, as the comedian, 73, and his legal team continue their efforts to protect Mavis' financial security, new details have been revealed of the extent of her prognosis.

Court documents obtained by People include a new update from Mavis' court-appointed counsel Ronald Ostrin, which in part reveals that she "sometimes does not know her husband, Jay, nor her date of birth."

The documents further describe her as having "a lot of disorientation," and that she "will ruminate about her parents who have both passed and her mother who died about 20 years ago."

Still, despite it stating it is "clear" Mavis is suffering from "cognitive impairment," the lawyer nonetheless describes her as a "delightful person" with a "charming personality."

Jay Leno and wife Mavis Nicholson Leno attend the taping of The Merv Griffin  September 26, 1979 © Getty
Jay and Mavis have been together since the 1970s

The filing also included comments from Mavis' neurologist Dr. Hart Cohen, who supported the decision to file the conservatorship and attested to Jay's sincere support and care for his wife.

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The court will now decide both whether to approve the petition and the scope of Jay's legal authority in regards to Mavis, her health and assets.

Jay Leno and Mavis Leno© Getty
The couple is based in California

Jay, who has been married to Mavis since 1980, has shied away from commenting on her health since the diagnosis was first made public. He only briefly addressed it when approached by the Daily Mail in California shortly afterwards, maintaining: "She's fine. Everybody's good, we're doing well," and noted he "set up a will, in case something happens."

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Jay and Mavis met in the 1970s at famed Los Angeles comedy club the Comedy Store, where the veteran television host was scheduled to do a stand-up show.

Mavis Leno and Jay Leno attend 60th Anniversary at The Improv at Hollywood Improv on November 07, 2023 © Getty
They tied the knot in November of 1980

They never had kids together, which Mavis previously said is something she decided on when she was a kid herself. In 2014, she told The Washington Post: "I remember telling my mother when I was 7 or 8 that I was never going to get married or have children."

Citing the 1955 sitcom The Honeymooners as an influence, she further explained: "I would see a young woman who was very attractive and a thousand times smarter, and she's living in this little tenement hovel with her husband," adding: "These men spend all their time talking about what a drag the wives are and asking how can they get away from them. It's perfectly obvious the women are the ones trapped."

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