A judge has ordered Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter to continue documenting her mother’s personal papers, which are at the center of a family dispute among the civil rights icon’s surviving children.
Bernice King and brother Martin Luther King III again faced off in court Friday against their brother, Dexter King, The Associated Press reports.
Dexter, CEO of King Inc., wants a judge to order Bernice, the administrator of her mother’s estate, to turn over personal papers, including intimate letters between Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr.
The documents were part of a $1.4 million book deal with Penguin Group for a memoir about the civil rights matriarch, but that deal fell though earlier this month after the family missed a deadline from the New York-based publisher to turn the documents over. It is unclear now whether the documents can or will be used for any future such deals.
Bernice and Martin Luther King III both argue that the book goes against their mother’s wishes.
The siblings and their attorneys sat down for more than four hours Friday after cooperation between them had stalled on a previous court order for Bernice King to begin producing her mother’s personal items.
The issue of whether Coretta Scott King’s papers are the property of her husband’s estate, which Dexter King controls, remains undecided for now, but Frankel said he was pleased with Friday’s progress and that the process of cataloguing hundreds of boxes of Coretta Scott King’s property — being managed by a court-appointed “special master” — will resume as early as this week. The cataloguing is necessary before a judge can decide whether the documents should be turned over.