MLK Children: Lawsuit Defends Dad's Legacy

Accusations fly as estranged siblings take dispute public
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 12:52 PM CDT
MLK Children: Lawsuit Defends Dad's Legacy
The Rev. Bernice King, Dexter King, Martin Luther King III and Yolanda King as they watch as the casket of their mother, Coretta Scott King, is brought to lie in honor in the Rotunda in Atlanta.    (AP Photo/Ric Feld, file)

Martin Luther King's children are blaming each other for the uncharacteristically public standoff that led two of them to sue the third over management of their father's estate, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The deaths of the family peacekeepers, mother Coretta and sister Yolanda, helped expose the rift. "Strong parents have strong children, and strong children have strong opinions, and that usually leads to conflicts that they have difficulty reconciling," says ex-Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, a longtime family friend.

Martin Luther King III and Bernice King say the need to protect their father's legacy moved them to sue Dexter King, who says his siblings " have chosen the low road, to use personal vindictiveness" by going public. The fight is over whether he improperly took funds from the estate and has withheld records. (More Martin Luther King Jr. stories.)

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