Story via The State of.
Two of Martin Luther King Jr.'s children have filed a lawsuit against a third, embroiling the family in a legal dispute over the estate of the civil rights icon.
Bernice King and Martin Luther King III filed a lawsuit Thursday in county court to force Dexter King to open the books of their father's estate.
The lawsuit claims that Dexter King, the estate's administrator, is refusing to provide his two siblings with documents concerning the estate's operations. That includes financial records, contracts and other documents, the lawsuit said.
Jock Smith, an attorney who plans to represent the elder siblings in the case, said Friday that the decision to sue their brother was not an easy one.
"This was very heartfelt on their part and very, very taxing on them to have to do this," Smith said. "They are not happy that they had to bring this action. All they're asking for is ... to be included in their daddy's legacy."
Dexter King has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. In a statement released on Friday by The King Center, he called the lawsuit unfortunate.
"I'm disappointed that our personal family disagreement, as it relates to the family business, has evolved into being handled in a public legal forum," the statement said. "It is my hope that this inappropriate and false claim by my siblings will be swiftly resolved and we can go about the business of focusing on our parents' tremendous legacy."
Dexter King is also chief executive officer of The King Center and chairman of its board of directors.
The lawsuit claims that Dexter King and the estate "converted substantial funds from the estate's financial account ... for their own use" on June 20 without notifying his siblings.
The lawsuit also claims that Dexter King may have taken assets from the firm "for his own benefit" and that the assets may have been "misapplied or wasted."
Let me see in writing this blog I wrote about the death of their mother. I also blogged about how MLK III put Bill Clinton to sleep. And then a vid that announced the first grandson in that family, that grandson being MLK III's child. Even the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of MLK Jr. It's unfortunate that this dispute is in the news.