Thursday, May 23, 2024

Dennis Edwards: Singer’s Widow Denies Abuse Allegations, Says State Failed Her Husband

*The wife of the late-great Temptations lead singer Dennis Edwards is speaking for the first time to CBS 2 Investigator Brad Edwards about the troubling allegations that she abused him before his death.

“Everybody knows I loved my husband,” said Brenda Edwards.

“It didn’t just happen, it was orchestrated,” she said of claims that she tried to suffocate her husband, a quadriplegic, by holding his head face down in a pillow. Brenda was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, but not before her husband died Feb. 1.

“I never had a chance to say goodbye,” she said.

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According to the report, prior to his death, Dennis’ meningitis was being treated by doctors in Chicago. By December 2017, his health was improving, though he was on a lot of medications and was reportedly depressed and paranoid.

“He just had thoughts that people were trying to do things to him,” Mrs. Edwards said.


After a fall, Dennis ended up at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. While there, on Dec. 21, an anonymous tipster called a state hotline and said Brenda Edwards had abused her husband.

When a caseworker visited the Edwards’ apartment Jan. 3, the singer said his wife was trying to harm him.

It was a claim he had made previously. Days earlier, when he was discharged from Northwestern, doctors noted he had “odd paranoid thoughts, saying his wife or the primary medical team was trying to kill him.”

The caseworker, however, might not have known or reviewed his records. She did call police and had Dennis Edwards removed from their home.

dennis edwards

The caseworker even filed an emergency order of protection, claiming Brenda was a threat to her husband.

“Dennis Edwards could not be hurt. He was in the hospital,” said Chicago attorney MacKenzie Hyde. Brenda hired Hyde to challenge the protection order. But Dennis died a day before she was to appear in court.

“I still don’t have answers,” Brenda said, adding that she didn’t fail her husband, the state of Illinois did.

The state Department of Aging has refused to turn over any documents or discuss what, if any, investigation was done.

“She doesn’t need to know who called [in the tip},” says Julia Gray, a St. Louis-based attorney for Brenda Edwards. “But she has a right to know what’s in that file.”

The final report of her husband’s death by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s found no signs of abuse, ruling Dennis Edwards died “due to complications of meningitis.

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