MLK children in difficult court battle

Oct. 12, 2009 at 12:50 AM
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ATLANTA, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A feud among the surviving children of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. will be taken to court in Atlanta Monday, attorneys for the litigants said.

Bernice King, 46, and Martin Luther King III, 51, sued their brother, Dexter King, 48, accusing him of inappropriate actions regarding King Inc., the company headed by Dexter that controls their father's materials and intellectual property. The lawsuit demanded that Dexter King call a board meeting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday.

The suit alleges Dexter King mishandled King Inc. funds and took unauthorized actions pertaining to the estates of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King.

Lin Wood, a lawyer for King Inc., said the Dexter King's sibling want to take over the company.

"The question now is whether the children want to come together and act in the best interest of the corporation," Wood said. "At this time, I'm not sure three siblings can make that decision."

Lynn Cothren, a special assistant to Coretta Scott King, said the three should meet to determine the future of King Inc.

"If Dexter knows they want to call the meeting in order to fire him, I guess what he needs to do is call the meeting," she said. "If you don't have the confidence of the other shareholders (in this case, the other two siblings), then you need to step down."

Jury selection is to begin Monday unless the parties settle, the Journal-Constitution said.

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