Part I: Coverage of complaint
Part II: Copy of complaint
Part III: History of similar antics by King children & the "estate".
Attorneys for the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. filed a lawsuit against WLBT anchor Howard Ballou in U.S. District Court in Jackson Thursday. The Clarion-Ledger reported:
"The estate of Martin Luther King Jr. says Jackson television news anchor Howard Ballou has some of the slain civil rights leader's historic documents and other items, and should give them up.
King's Georgia estate has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force Ballou to return the material, which also includes photographs and transcripts.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court by Jackson attorney Bob Owens, says the documents and other items are rare and irreplaceable, and are believed to be valued at more than $75,000."
Mr. Ballou's employer, WLBT, reported
"Maude Ballou was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s personal secretary when he led the Montgomery Improvement Association in Alabama. They worked together for several years, and Ms. Ballou helped Dr. King establish his Southern Christian Leadership Conference office in Atlanta in 1960.
The two maintained a trusting professional relationship; a handwritten inscription on a book authored by Dr. King reads "To my dear friends Maude and Leonard, whose friendship I will always cherish very deeply." Leonard is Maude's late husband.
During her employment, Ms. Ballou wrote letters on Dr. King's behalf, and he also corresponded with her through letters at times....
In 2007, some of the correspondence, along with transcripts of Dr. King's sermons and other documents, were discovered in storage at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, where Maude and Leonard Ballou worked. The family of Dr. King says Howard Ballou has ownership of those documents now. According to the lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Jackson, the property is wrongfully detained by Mr. Ballou, and there's no dispute the documents are Dr. King's property.
Mr. Ballou's attorney, Robert Gibbs, says he was contacted in July by lawyers for the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., a private company owned by the children of the civil rights icon. But Gibbs says there was no negotiation about giving the items back. "I can tell you there are some things similar to what's described in that lawsuit that are in Ms. Ballou's possession. But these are her documents. We're going to do whatever we can to make sure they remain her documents," Gibbs says." Article
The lawsuit claims the items in Mr. Ballou's possession are:
1. A sermon by Dr. King from May 17, 1956 entitled "The Death of Evil Upon the Sea Shore."
2. A transcript of Dr. King's statement the day after the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation was unconstitutional.
3. November 26,1956 newsletter written by Dr. King about the "events related to the Montgomery Bus Boycott".
4. Transcript of Dr. King's speech at Holt Street Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama on December 3,1956.
5. "A handwritten letter to Mrs. Ballou, signed by Rosa Parks on April 29,1957, "regarding the work of the MIA".
6. Transcript of Dr. King's statement after being arrested in Montgomery, Alabama in 1958 for loitering.
7. "Undated 'Message from the President' authored by Dr. King as the President of the SCLC, bearing Dr. King's signature."
8. "Handwritten letters to Maude Ballou" from Dr. King while overseas regarding his work at the MIA.
9. Transcript of Dr. King's speech to the MIA on December 3, 1959.
Unfortunately, the King children have greed for blood as they earned quite a reputation over the years for their shameful treatment of Dr. King's legacy. Repeatedly fighting each other in court. Pimping of the King legacy as everything is for sale. Suing everyone at any time if they even think about Dr. King without paying them for the right to think about Dr. King (For the lawyers, yes, that last phrase was a use of parody and satire as Dexter King may be too stupid to realize it as such.). The lawsuit against Mr. Ballou, one of the classiest and most respected gentlemen in Mississippi, is just one more chapter in the sorry history created by Bernice, the Third, and Dexter. What exactly have they done? Here is the short list:
1. The AP reported in 2009 the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation "the foundation paid $761,160 in 2007 to Intellectual Properties Management Inc., an entity run by King's family. Documents also show a "management" fee of $71,700 was paid to the family estate in 2003." The foundation is operated by Dexter King while Bernice and Martin III sit on the board. You read that right. They charged a licensing fee of nearly a million bucks. The Gawker reported:
"The King kids told the AP that they charged the fees because the memorial's fundraising drive has cut into contributions to their own King Center. According to the King Center's Form 990 tax returns for 2006, Dexter drew a $186,000 salary from the King Center, which also paid $1 million consulting fee to Intellectual Properties Management." Article
2. Charged CNN money to replay the entire "I Have a Dream" speech. A federal court ruled in 1999 in the Estate of Martin Luther King v. CBS the speech was not in the public domain but a performance subject to copyright laws. Hmmm..... I like this idea. Any of you thinking of replaying my "performances" on the radio? Better open up the wallets.
3. This is a good one. Penguin agreed to a $1.4 million book deal for a book about Coretta Scott King with Dexter King. Bernice and Martin III sued Dexter. Penguin demanded the return of a $300,000 if certain promised documents were not provided to the publisher. Article The deal never materialized but it led to the this fight:
4. Dexter King sued his siblings to get, ready for this?, the personal love letters between Dr. King and his wife so he could use them in a book deal with Penguin. You simply can not make this up. The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported in 2008:
"Coretta Scott King kept the love letters beneath her bed, in a blue Samsonite suitcase.
The amorous writings of her husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., were among the most cherished possessions of a famously private person, said Lynn Cothren, Mrs. King’s special assistant for 23 years. “That’s why she kept them so close, in her room, underneath her bed.”
The family corporation that Dexter King leads, called King Inc., is seeking a temporary restraining order that would force Bernice King to give the papers to Reynolds. A judge ordered her to bring the letters and photos to court Tuesday, though they are not expected to be shown in court. At stake is the book contract with Penguin Group, the New York-based publisher that has threatened to pull out should Bernice King fail to hand over the papers by Friday." Article
5. Not even Obama is immune to the King children's greed. Fox News reported
"The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is demanding a share of the proceeds from the sudden wave of T-shirts, posters and other merchandise depicting the slain civil rights leader alongside Barack Obama.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr., King's nephew and head of the nonprofit King Center in Atlanta, said the estate is entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees — maybe even millions.
"Some of this is probably putting food on people's plates. We're not trying to stop anybody from legitimately supporting themselves," he said, "but we cannot allow our brand to be abused." I'm surprised Mr. Farris didn't try to copyright Isaac Newton and the phrase "law of gravity". Article I can see it now, Junior files a lawsuit against Steve Jobs wanting money for the use of Apple.
Think I'm through? Oh no, there is more.
6. Bernice and Three opposed a Martin Luther King museum in Atlanta for reasons Madison County Supervisor Karl Banks will appreciate. Coca-Cola donated land downtown for the museum. The children instead argued it should be located in the Auburn Avenue Corridor, which would just happen to be near (and boost traffic for) the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change. Guess who owned operated that facility? Yup, the King children. Never mind the National Park Service wanted to buy it and said it needed $11 million in repairs as the center suffered from years of neglect. The donated land was worth $10 million at the time and had the support of the Mayor as well as other local leaders. Article
7. Then there is the infamous 2008 lawsuit over the management of the estate of Dr. King. From the British Telegraph:
"Two of King's children have filed a lawsuit against a third, accusing him of misappropriating "substantial funds" from one family account and mismanaging a company they set up to license their father's image and intellectual property.
In the suit, Bernice King, 45, and Martin Luther King III, 50, claim Dexter King, 47, took "substantial" funds from the estate of their mother, Coretta Scott King, who died in 2006, and "misapplied or wasted" assets from the company. Bernice King is the administrator of their mother's estate." Copy of complaint.
The British Times reported at the time: "the estate made $32 million from the sale of Dr. King's papers to the City of Atlanta in 2006. The sale was reportedly necessary "to protect the papers for future generations because of crumbling infrastructure and mounting debt at the King Center in Atlanta"
The case settled. Dexter King kept his title. However, he lost control of the company, King Inc., that manages the estate after the court appointed a custodian to manage the operations. There is more. Just google "Martin luther king children greed".
Are Kings simply concerned children who wish to preserve an important part of American history? Its hard to take that view when they've squandered millions of dollars, exploited the legacy for more millions, and and treated even Dr. King's love letters as something to be sold at auction. Now they want to drag Mr. Ballou through the mud (I've already seen one blog stating he was in possession of "stolen property"). The character and reputation of Mr. Ballou doesn't matter. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King doesn't matter. The story of civil rights in this country does not matter. All that matters to the King is the King children and everyone else - yes, that includes their mother, father, and all black people - be damned. Mr. Ballou should fight this lawsuit and expose these people for what they are: shameless hustlers who act as if they were sired by Don King, not Martin Luther King.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Part I: Coverage of complaint
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Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).
Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.
Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".
In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.
In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.
Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.
Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!
This is definitely a Beaver production.
Note: Security provided by INS.
There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.
If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!
This is definitely a Beaver production.
Note: Security provided by INS.