While the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” last week, few people knew that the family of the late civil rights leader were in a legal dispute over his estate.
According to reports, Dr.King’s sons Dexter King and Martin Luther King III recently filed a lawsuit against heir sister Bernice, who runs the Kind estate.
In the suit, the brother claims “the King Center has been careless with historical documents, recordings, and even their father’s remains,” and that items at the center are “at risk of fire and water damage, mold, mildew and theft.”
The brothers say they tried to work things out, but that the relationship grew strained. They say they are willing to reverse their decision if The King Center puts Bernice King on administrative leave.
AP is reporting that the King estate sent the King Center a letter on Aug. 10 saying it would terminate its license at the end of a 30-day notice period.
According to AP, the letter says the King Center “could prevent the termination by: putting CEO Bernice King on administrative leave pending the final outcome of the audit investigation; give the estate approval power over the use, care and treatment of the memorabilia until another solution can be implemented; and remove Alveda King, the civil rights leader’s niece, and former Atlanta mayor and civil rights veteran Andrew Young from the center’s board of directors.”
This isn’t the first time the King children have taken legal action against each other. In 2008, Bernice sued Dexter and Martin III for refusing to open the books and include other in the decision making process.
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