I Have a Lawsuit ...

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Aug. 20 2008 3:29 PM

I Have a Lawsuit ...

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, his widow, Coretta Scott King, established the King Center for Nonviolent Change in Atlanta and converted King's estate into a corporation ("Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc.") to collect royalties on the civil rights leader's historic writings, documents, and recordings. King's three living children, Dexter, Bernice, and Martin III, are all board members of the King Center and shareholders in the corporation. (Coretta died in 2006.) 

On July 10, Bernice and Martin sued Dexter, who now lives in Malibu, Calif., alleging wrongful removal of funds from Coretta's estate (which Bernice administrates) and mismanaging their father's legacy (see excerpts below and on Pages 2 and 3). On Aug. 18, Dexter countersued his siblings on behalf of the King Center (see excerpts on Pages 4 through 9). Dexter's suit accuses Bernice of founding a Coretta Scott King Foundation ("established to carry on the works of Dr. King and Coretta") in order to "compete with The King Center" (Page 9) and accuses Martin of running "a competing foundation, Realizing the Dream," which has "virtually the same goals as The King Center" (Page 7). Dexter further claims that Martin used the center "to support his own personal causes" such as the presidential candidacy of John Edwards (see Page 5); "commandeered a reception" for the center by turning it "into his own wedding reception"; and "retained … for his own use" a Lincoln Navigator that Ford Motor "donated … to the King Center" in 2004 (Page 8). Despite their father's message of unity, each side in this dispute accuses the other of taking the low road.

Advertisement

Send ideas for Hot Document to documents@slate.com.

1_123125_2137821_2180654_2197421_2198244_mlkkids1

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Behold
Sept. 21 2014 11:00 AM Sometimes You Just Need to Print Your Photos the Old-Fashioned Way 
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.