Since his much publicized beating by police, Rodney King fears for his life, is dejected by the damage to his looks and avoids television reports about the incident, his ex-wife and doctor say.

"He's depressed. He's scared," Dennetta King said."He's depressed because they beat him like that and he feels that his manhood has been taken, and he's scared because he doesn't know if they're going to try to beat him up again or kill him or what."

Ms. King said she speaks with her ex-husband, who has since remarried, about twice a week.

King, a 25-year-old construction worker, has stayed at a series of private homes since the March 3 beating, which was taped by a plumber trying out a new video camera. The tape was broadcast nationally and caused a furor, focusing new attention on police practices.

King's attorney, Steve Lerman, hired security guards to watch out for King, who limits his outings to medical visits, and then with a cane and wheelchair.

Lerman said he has refused to allow reporters near his client because "I don't feel he's in any kind of shape to be seen."