Harry Belafonte is attempting to regain ownership of documents given to him by his friend, Dr. King, which were intended to be donated to a charity auction. Belafonte’s estimates the documents are valued up to $1.3 million and he wants the proceeds from the sale to go to charity. Attempts by Belafonte to auction off the documents have been thwarted by the King estate since 2008, who contend the documents were “wrongfully acquired”.
The documents include a condolence letter that former President Lyndon Johnson had written to Correta Scott King after King’s death, were given to Belafonte by King herself in 2003. Also, Dr, King gave Belafonte a speech Dr. King gave in 1967 speaking out against America’s involvement in Vietnam.
“Dr. King was a regular guest at Mr. Belafonte’s Manhattan apartment: he worked, socialized and rested there,” the suit says. “Not surprisingly, during their long time together, Mr. Belafonte came to own documents associated with Dr. King and his widow.”
Lawsuit documents were obtained by The Post, which states the suit seeks unspecified damages and a court declaration that Belafonte is the rightful owner.
Representation for the King estate say they have not received lawsuit documentation and had no comment. Belafonte’s attorney did not provide comments to the New York Post.
Rumors are also circulating about Jamie Foxx playing Dr. King in a new film.