King siblings in feud over book deal
ATLANTA - The children of Coretta Scott King and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. faced off in a courtroom yesterday in a dispute over their mother's personal papers that could derail a lucrative book deal.
The Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, and Dexter King have looked more like adversaries than siblings in recent months. The surviving three King children are involved in three lawsuits.
Dexter King, as the head of his father's estate, is seeking his mother's papers, which are in his sister's possession. Bernice King is refusing to turn over the papers, contending that her mother did not want to participate in the $1.4 million book deal.
New York-based Penguin Group is threatening to pull the deal this week without the documents.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville delayed making a decision yesterday, instead appointing a special master to determine which documents were at issue. He said it would be impossible for him to weigh in without an accurate inventory.
Speaking to reporters outside the Fulton County Courthouse yesterday afternoon, Dexter King said he was saddened by the family feud. "This is not in the spirit of our parents," he said. "It's not the way we were raised. It's just very disheartening."