MLK Family Feud

Smoking Gun, July 11, 2008

A family dispute over the valuable estates of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King has landed the late couple’s children in court, with two of the siblings claming that a third has misappropriated money from their parents’s estates. Bernice King and Martin Luther King III charge that, in late June, their brother Dexter improperly transferred “substantial funds” from Bank of America to accounts he controls, according to a Superior Court lawsuit filed yesterday in Fulton County, Georgia. {snip} Bernice King, 45, is administrator of her late mother’s estate, while Dexter, 47, is president of the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. corporation, of which the siblings are all shareholders. The operation of that business is in disarray, with the siblings “deadlocked” in its management, according to the complaint, which charges that the company’s assets are “being misapplied or wasted.” {snip} In 2006, the King corporation, which controls the use of the late civil rights leader’s image, sold a private collection of his papers that had been estimated to be worth about $30 million. The material was to have been auctioned by Sotheby’s, but was purchased by a coalition of Atlanta civic and business leaders for future display by Morehouse College, King’s alma mater.

[Editor’s Note: The text of the complaint can be read as graphics here.]

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