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Harry Belafonte settled his lawsuit against the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Friday. According to reports, the singer and activist gained full ownership of historical documents he acquired during his longtime friendship with the late civil rights icon.
As we reported earlier, Belafonte filed the suit in a Manhattan federal court last October. He accused the estate of trying to block him from auctioning the items, which included King’s outline from his “Casualties of the War in Vietnam” speech, notes for an address he never got to deliver in Memphis (Belafonte found the rough draft in MLK’s pocket after his 1968 assassination), and a condolence letter from President Lyndon B. Johnson to King’s wife after his death. The 87-year-old “King of Calypso” argued that he could sell the documents if he pleased because they were gift.
Both parties reached a compromise that “resulted in Mr. Belafonte retaining possession of the documents.” The lawyers released a joint statement, adding, “The parties express their appreciation to one another for the good faith efforts that led to this resolution.”
They had no further comment on the case. We’re glad they were able to reach an agreement peacefully.