Burnett and her husband of nearly 20 years, Brian Miller, recently filed with Los Angeles County Superior Court to be temporary guardians. The teen is the son of Burnett’s daughter, Erin Hamilton.
CNN is not naming the youth because he is a minor.
In legal documents obtained by CNN, the couple alleges that “Throughout her adult life, and since [her son’s] birth, Erin has suffered from severe substance abuse and addiction issues.”
CNN has reached out to Hamilton for comment.
According to the petition, Burnett, who is now 87, was named “educational rights holder” over her grandson in 2018. That authorized her “to make educational and developmental-services decisions for [her grandson],” she contends.
Following that, Burnett enrolled her grandson in a boarding school.
The petition states that enrolling him in boarding school “has been great for him,” and the school provided him “with the stability and structure that he previously lacked and it reinforced appropriate behavior and boundaries that he desperately needed.”
But the suit says that in March of this year Burnett’s grandson and the school’s other boarders were sent home because of the pandemic and he has been staying with the family of one of his friends.
“Due to addiction issues and other circumstances that my daughter, Erin, has been struggling with impacting her immediate family dynamic, my husband and I have petitioned the court to be appointed legal guardian of my 14 year old grandson,” Burnett said in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.
“Guardianship will be for oversight purposes concerning his health, education and welfare and not intended to deny him nor the (parents) proper visitation with one another. We look forward to recovery being the next stepping stone towards normalization and ask for privacy at this time to allow that process to occur.”
The petition states that the comedic legend and her husband “have always had a close relationship with [her grandson] and they have financially supported him for the entirety of his life.”
“This financial support includes providing for his medical insurance, dental insurance, educational needs, as well as his basic living and housing expenses,” it states. “At this time, Proposed Co-Guardians are his sole source of financial support, and his primary source of emotional support.”