Did George Jefferson Get Taken by a Gold-Digger?

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The Real Sherman Hemsley Story

Setting Sherman’s Record Straight?

HSK Exclusive – The son of the former long time manager of the late actor who played George Jefferson is looking to set the record straight. You may remember Hemsley’s body was kept on ice for almost three-months after the actor’s death – until the 74-year-old’s estate was awarded to his “beloved partner” Flora Enchinton.

Now, Ken Johnston’s son – Steven Johnston – is speaking out to let the ‘gold-digging’ truth behind Enchinton be known.

Here’s what Steven Johnston wrote me about the Sherman Hemsley situation:

Hey Jacky,

That’s for taking the time to get in touch with me! There are many misconceptions about Sherman and my father Ken Johnston, as well with Flora Bernal that need to be rectified.

My father was Sherman’s manager from late ’79 until Sherman’s death in July 2012. Flora Bernal is my fathers, has been my father’s girlfriend from late ’94 early ’95 and not Sherman’s “beloved” as the media reports.

My father first met Flora while him and Sherman were traveling through Vegas. My father was smitten with her at first due to the fact she had “big f*cking tits” and she passed on a photo of her daughter in hopes of jump starting a singer career for her. Soon after that meeting, my father and Flora became romantically involved. She remained a resident in El Paso and my father lived in Sherman Oaks, CA and Sherman in the Hollywood Hills (1907 Jewett drive).

Because of bad investments (ie: movies, music projects, real estate, etc), the bottom dropped out on their mini empire in May 1999 and my father felt it best to flee California and regroup. My father suggested El Paso (so my father could be close to Flora) and even though he didn’t want to go, Sherman begrudgingly went along with the plan. The plan being that they work from El Paso until they can return to Los Angeles one day as Sherman and my father both wanted to do.

Sherman always preferred Los Angeles over El Paso and Philadelphia. When I picked him up and took him to Isabel Sanford’s funeral at Forest Lawn, he told me that this is where he wanted to be buried! Now Sherman’s beliefs were of the “All Is Love, and Love is All” and felt our bodies were a vessel for life and when finished, the spirit moves on and the body is nothing. But he knew his “body” would be laid to rest and he wanted it to be at Forest Lawn.

During their time in El Paso, Sherman, my father and my half brother (he was 7 at the time) lived on Tom Ulozas Drive and Flora lived on George Archer Drive. At no time did Sherman ever live with Flora. In 2001, my 5 year old half sister went to live with my father, Sherman and her brother. The media erroneously reports that Sherman fled Los Angeles with his good “friend” Ken Johnston in tow into the waiting arms of his “good friend” and “beloved” Flora.

Also, the media also erroneously reported that Flora knew Sherman for 20 years, when she didn’t get to really know him until the move in ’99 to El Paso. She became his “manager representative” in helping out my father when he was sidelined by a stroke in 2003, but my father was still the manager. My father told me that they were always talking about getting back to Los Angeles and it was getting close to becoming a reality until my fathers stroke.

Now Sherman is a great man to me! He stepped in and helped my father as he tried to recover and still helped with the raising of my half siblings. He told me it was not a problem and he wouldn’t go back to Los Angeles without my father as my father helped him through the darkest moments of his life and this is the least he could do for my father. All thoughts of ever getting back to Los Angeles were squashed, but it didn’t bother Sherman.

I know a lot about the man. I would drive him to the studio during the week and he even helped promote my band (Steve Stone on Epic Associated). He even got us on the old Rick Dees Into The Night program! I would always check in with him to see how my father was doing and thank him for everything that he’d done.

If you need anything else, let me know. Thanks for listening!

Steven Johnston

40 COMMENTS

  1. Steven is full of hot air, Hamsley was gay (More power to him!) and Kenneth was a hollow (gay) con man, may he burn in hell.

    • Andrew,

      You’re just full of shit. You have now idea what your talking about. You asswipe, will be the one burning in hell.

      Steven

  2. Man gimme a break. This ken johnston and sherman helsley were lovers! It’s obvious as can be! Eveidently ken was bi and loved both women and men. Sherman was obviously just into him! So ken johnston’s son just spilled the beans on his dad!

    • Daniel,

      What beans did I spill in my dad? He was Sherman’s manager, not his lover. Sherman’s business manager is the gay one you’re refering to. Get your facts straight before you try to spin takes.

      Steven

  3. Jesus H Christ, Steven Johnston, give it up! You’ve been at this for almost three years! You’ve said what you know in your heart to be true and you can’t force people to accept that. Getting so riled up about it only gives people more reason to keep saying things if they know they can get a rise out of you. You know the truth. Now just let it go, man and save yourself a lot of stress.

  4. River,

    I’m not stressed at all. I enjoy messing with these people who think they are the authority on this situation. As you can tell, I’m really not on this site that much at all. Thanks for your comments.

    Steven

  5. Let it be. People believe what they want. We lost a great actor, his sexual preference was his business.

  6. Comment:i am 45 years old and not married I know I not gay why people look down on singles people who tried hard to find someone in there life and can't and think they gay

  7. hey steven,
    did sherman leave everything to flora or was he con to leaving it to her ?
    what was his financila situation? i read he sold the right to the jefferson residual check.

  8. hey steven
    why did sherman denied chemo?
    dna proof that richard thoron is his brother he should have inherit
    sherman estate or financial money

  9. hey steven,
    who was sherman business manager?
    did sherman talk about his family or half brother to you ?

    • The only option available was Flora. With Ken slowly dying (he died almost a year later), there was no one else. Sherman never talked much about his family, just the woman who raised him. Sherman believed more in a holistic approach than chemo. It’s sad that the business manager (Andre) left him in such dire straits that he had to sell off his residual rights.

  10. If Kenneth Johnston was Sherman’s true business manager (before the stroke you spoke of), how did he mis-manage Sherman’s money so poorly? At age 74, why didn’t Sherman have a life of his own? Meaning a wife & adult children? Why was he so attached to Kenneth Johnston? Why did he sign his estate over to Bernal, instead of Kenneth Johnston? Sounds like he & Johnston were lovers. Sounds like 2 old gay men down on their luck. Somehow met Bernal who became close to them, assisted them, thus Sherman left her his estate. It’s very bizarre. Sherman must’ve disowned his bio family.

    • My father was his manager and had no control of what the business manager did with Sherman’s money. Sherman as “attached” to my father because he was the one who helped Sherman overcome his drug addiction. Also, when The Jefferson’s ended, no work was coming in for Sherman because the studios felt that he was on television too long already. Ken fought to get him another gig with Amen, thus saving his career. Sherman met Flora, my fathers girlfriend, in 1996. My father was also dying slowly and the only other person to leave his small estate to was Flora.

      • He COULD…… have always …as some celebs do……..give it all to charity…..so he really didn’t HAVE to give it to flora..

  11. I worked at the company that produced The Jeffersons and came to know Sherman pretty well. I worked for the business affairs office and Sherman was always getting advances on the next pay check. The Jeffersons was on CBS for 11 years and was financially our most successful series. He could’ve accumulated a fortune, but he spent his paycheck even before it came in and no doubt got advances against residuals whenever he could. Unfortunately, he never paid enough attention to money, although some of those around him — for one, a guy named Andre — did and those folks left little for Sherman…. Yes, he was probably gay (and who cares, though back then it was an issue… and even now for a black guy, the DL and all that, not easy). Anyway, I knew Ken Johnston also. He was very nice and sincerely tried to take care of SH, do the right things for him financially, and keep the bad guys away. Very sorry to hear of the difficulties of their later years. If they were as devoted to each other as Steven indicates, isn’t that to be admired and praised? Isn’t that what we all yearn for? They were both gentle men just trying to get through life; I’m glad they had each other.

    • Aitchee, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Andre was the business manager and spent the money like a drunken sailor. Sherman and Andre had a verbal pact when they were younger to take care of each other whoever made it in the industry first.

      • Steve, I’m sorry to hear about the sad chapter in your Dad’s live and Sherman’s too. Your father was a gracious host the time I came to S.O.’s to audition for you and Ralph Carter. I hope all is going well for you.

        • Hey Tim…been a long time! Thanks for the kind words! You still living in Rhode Island and playing music?

  12. Hi . I think your father and mr Sherman had a father son type relationship. That also why he grew close ur half siblings and u. Flora and kids the only family he had so I think he giving to his daughter and grandkids ( not official , heart wise) . Sorry if I misunderstood . In the end Sherman wasn’t alone , and I’m happy he died at peace .

    • Hello Varsha, My father and Sherman had a manager/client relationship (not a father/son relationship, lol) that was also a friendship, not a gay relationship. He grew close to me and my other siblings, along with Flora and her offspring, because we knew him for years. My father and our family knew him since 1981 and Flora and her family knew him from 1995. Sherman was also my youngest brothers godfather. All of us were his family and like every family, you have your good times and bad times.

  13. I don’t think Steven is lying. I just don’t think he knew. It is obvious. I’ve seen people more distant from each other have affairs. It’s okay. He is still your dad Steven. Who cares if he was Hemsley’s lover too?

      • You’re agreeing with nonsense. Plus, you’re posting as “Anonymous” so your opinion dooesn’t count. State your name and list the facts that you have regarding all this mess.

    • Obvious? LOL I’m not lying Connor and my father was NOT Sherman’s lover. You have no knowledge of anything regarding Sherman, my father, Flora and the rest of my family. I know who Sherman’s lovers were throughout his life. My father was just his manager and good friend. He helped him navigate his life after his business manager squandered all his money and hush money was paid to former lovers.

  14. Steven, I loved Sherman Hemsley and hate to think he was one of the many people who lost money because he trusted the wrong person! I have wondered about his personal life knowing full well that it is none of my business. We, as human beings, tend to be curious about the lives of celebrities; their lives and secrets make news! Tell me more about this fantastic actor! Queen Max

    • Hey Queen Max! Unfortunately Sherman did trust the wrong person. I hung out with Sherman all the time. He didn’t trust too many people.

  15. Steven
    I have much respect for you. The fact that you are honoring your father’s name to people who assume that Sherman and your father were lovers. I pray that I have someone like your father in my corner. He was a true friend to Sherman. God bless you Steven!!
    And may Sherman and your father Rest In Peace!!

  16. Hi Steven,

    I want to commend you for responding to just about everything people posted here, good and bad. I was a big fan of Sherman Hemsley and enjoyed both “The Jeffersons and “Amen” a lot and followed his career pretty closely. I remember reading some articles about him in TV Guide and just wanted to know. Is the business manager Andre also a one-time housemate of Sherman’s (not assuming anything here, just confirming)? And, Sherman was often said to be a VERY SHY person. Did you get that sense, or was he just a loner? Is it true that much of his financial ruin was because he used his own money to fund the movie, “Ghost Fever?” Also, I remember reading he would produce his own music and do concerts in the late 1980s and early 1990s? Were they successful or did they also contribute to his financial woes? Did he finance those too? Also, do you know whatever happened to Andre? Thank you.

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