Harry Belafonte, 86, was a close friend of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself, has come forward saying that says, he has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the three surviving children of one of his late and great friend.
According to reports, Belafonte is suing the King family over possession and sale of Dr. King’s most historical speeches.
“At issue are three documents that used to be in Mr. Belafonte’s collection of memorabilia, along with other photos and letters on the walls of his apartment, chronicling his long friendship with Dr. King. Mr. Belafonte says the papers were given to him by Dr. King himself; by his widow, Coretta Scott King and Dr. King’s close aide Stanley Levison.”
The King family which has fought over control of the King estate for several years argues of course that the documents were taken without permission and belong to the estate. But Belafonte is challenging them on this one and willing to drag them into court to do so.
In addition to the papers that were in Dr. King’s pocket during his assassination in 1968, Belafonte claims he is also in possession of a condolence letter written by former President, Lyndon Johnson, which was first issued to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.
Unfortunately for Belafonte, his first effort to sell the memorabilia in 2008 was stopped by a protest conducted by Dexter, Bernice and Martin Luther King III. The auction, to be held by Sotheby’s, was canceled but Belafonte continues to makes moves to prove he is indeed the rightful owner of the King’s prized possessions. Until the suit is settled, Sotheby’s is still in possession of the items in question.
No court date has been set but we will keep you posted. – ruthie hawkins/@ruubabie