Buzz added that Korp, her husband, and their children, one of whom bears “Buzz” as one of his middle names, “have become like family to me.”
“Christina not only manages my business, but she manages my life, and nowadays, she often teases that she has become my substitute mother, protecting my interests and making me behave ... or else!” he wrote. “We have a wonderful, close relationship, and I depend on her wisdom and expertise.”
Korp’s role has been a mix between handler and babysitter. According to a profile of Buzz by Jeanne Marie Laskas, published in GQ in 2014, Korp is frequently seen just offstage, gesturing to her boss to wrap it up when he goes over time during a public speech. She even “acts as a bouncer for all of the gold diggers trying to pry themselves into chez Buzz,” Laskas wrote. “Christina is his shield. She wants him to slow down, to stop with the ladies, to stop feeling like he has to fly to friggin’ Dubai to give a speech, but she knows he’s incapable of stopping either.”
Korp was briefly fired from her roles with Buzz in 2011, by his former wife Lois, according to the GQ profile. Lois, to whom the astronaut was married from 1988 to 2012, had become a de facto publicist for her husband, trotting him out for all kinds of events and commercial deals, Laskas reported:
He went on every talk show imaginable—all over the world. She turned down virtually nothing. He made none of the choices. He imagined himself promoting space, doing something good for the world and the future of mankind. He did what Lois told him to do, and now they were raking in millions, endorsement deals with Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, Apple, Grundig, Nike.
Buzz hired Korp back after his relationship with Lois ended. According to his memoir, Korp took on one of Lois’s daily duties, making the astronaut a Cobb salad for lunch.
A fissure in the working relationship between Korp and Buzz, whatever the cause, seemed to widen this spring. According to documents shared in the lawsuit, Tourtelot sent a cease-and-desist letter to Korp in April, on Buzz’s behalf, ordering her to stop any activity associated with the Buzz Aldrin name. He sent another letter in May, this time terminating her employment at Buzz Aldrin Enterprises. Korp told me she remains employed there.
In June, Andy and Jan Aldrin filed a petition in Florida state court requesting to be appointed their father’s co-guardians, saying that he “suffers from cognitive decline” that has “resulted in loss of memory, confusion, general delusions, paranoia, and unusual behavior,” according to ABC News. The petition said Buzz “is now associating with new acquaintances who appear to be manipulating him with false information to their own benefit and his detriment.”
Bauer said Buzz voluntarily underwent a competency evaluation this spring and was found to be “perfectly competent.” After Buzz filed suit against his children and Korp, the court also ordered him to undergo three competency exams. The first was scheduled for Tuesday and the rest for Wednesday, and will be conducted in a “neutral location,” Bauer said.