On Jan. 31, Martin Luther King III and Dexter King, the sons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., filed a complaint in an Atlanta courtroom against their sister, Bernice King, asking a judge to force her to relinquish their father's Nobel Peace Prize medal as well as his 'traveling' Bible.
Bernice claims that her brothers want to sell the items that she describes as "sacred" to a private party for what would undoubtedly be a tremendous price.
In a statement published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bernice said:
While I love my brothers dearly, this latest decision by them is extremely troubling. Not only am I appalled and utterly ashamed, I am frankly disappointed that they would even entertain the thought of selling these precious items. It reveals a desperation beyond comprehension. As Mark 8:36 teaches, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" Our Father MUST be turning in his grave."
"As a minister of the Gospel, the thought of selling my daddy’s Bible troubles my mind, vexes my spirit and weighs on my soul. The thought of profiting from the sale of the Peace Prize Medal, which my father accepted 50 years ago this year on behalf of the greatest demonstration of peace this nation has ever seen, is spiritually violent, unconscionable, historically negligent, and outright morally reprehensible. This is especially true in light of the fact that my father gave away every dime of the Nobel award money to support the civil rights movement."
This is not the first time the King children have battled one another in court over their father's estate.
In 2008, the children sued each other in various combinations, a total of three times.
The Associated Press reports:
In one case, Bernice and Martin III sued Dexter to force him to open the books of their father's estate, accusing him of shutting them out of decisions. The siblings reached a settlement in 2009.
The King estate is also currently at odds with the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which Bernice runs, over the use of their father's image on memorabilia.
King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.