The feuding among the children of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. continues.
The latest volley comes from Bernice A. King, the youngest child of the civil rights leader, who is claiming that her brothers want to sell some of their father’s most important and historic items, namely his Nobel Peace Prize and his personal bible. That bible was used at President Obama's inauguration in 2013.
“I am absolutely opposed to the selling of these extremely sacred items and I expressed my opposition to my brothers,” King’s only surviving daughter said in a statement.
“Our father must be turning in his grave,” she said.
“Although these items have been under my care and custody for the past few years, they have remained in a safe and secure location since my father’s assassination, and my mother’s death in 2006. After I refused to immediately transfer these items to another location at their request, consequently on January 31 my brothers through The Estate of Martin L. King, Jr., Inc filed a lawsuit to force me to turn these items over for the express purpose of selling them.”
Bernice King, who is a Baptist minister, said she was “appalled and utterly ashamed” by the actions of her brothers, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King.
“While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them is extremely troubling,” she said. “I am frankly disappointed that they would even entertain the thought of selling these precious items.”
Six years ago, the King siblings were locked in three separate lawsuits, principally dealing with how the personal effects of their father and mother, Coretta Scott King, would be distributed. They agreed to a settlement in 2009.
Meanwhile, the King estate is in the midst of an unrelated legal fight with the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, whose chief executive is Bernice King. The estate filed a complaint asking that the King Center be barred from using the image of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as any likeness and memorabilia.
The complaint stated that the materials that were licensed to be used by the King Center were not being cared for properly.
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(Photo: Monica Morgan/WireImage/Getty Images)
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