King children reach accord on estate

Oct. 13, 2009 at 9:30 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The children of Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr. settled their legal feud over control of the U.S. civil rights icon's estate, avoiding a jury trial.

Martin Luther King III and Bernice King met with their brother, Dexter King, for nearly 15 hours to work out an accord, announced by Fulton County Superior Judge Ural Glanville late Monday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

"The settlement is very positive overall," said Martin Luther King III. "Our objective is to be involved in protecting the legacy."

Terms of the settlement call for a third-party custodian to be brought in temporarily to run King Inc., the corporation controlling use of their father's papers, intellectual property and materials.

"This agreement calls for a custodian to help manage our family business," Dexter King said. "I am still the president of the corporation, as I am sure there will be a learning curve. But the most important thing is preserving the legacy of our parents."

The feud became public in 2008 when Bernice King and Martin Luther King III filed suit against Dexter King, charging him with mishandling funds from King Inc., improperly taking money from the estate of their mother and acting unilaterally regarding both parents' estates without the siblings' permission or knowledge.

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