When Julia Roberts was born, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King paid the bill. The couple, who had been friends of the Rev. King’s since childhood, said they were unaware of his financial arrangement with the couple’s late son, Martin Luther King III.
The Rev. King’s finances are now a focus of scrutiny and controversy — after a report Sunday that he loaned his personal home to the couple in exchange for the King family’s approval for the family home in Atlanta to be turned into apartments.
In his last days as the civil rights leader, the Rev. King used his $1.1 million home to fund the Rev. Martin Luther King III’s college education. He also contributed money to the King family’s struggling rental property and to the Rev. King’s widow and children’s college educations.
The Rev. King’s personal finances are now at the center of questions raised by his will.
On Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the details of King’s estate, which is being probated by the Fulton County probate court.
The paper reported that the Rev. King gave his personal home to the Rev. Martin Luther King III’s college education. But his family gave him only the mortgage that secured his $1.1 million home in Atlanta, the newspaper reported.
“We’re looking at a big mess,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a close friend of King’s who co-authored the “I Have a Dream” speech and was by his side as he was assassinated in 1968.
Jackson said he was “appalled” by the Rev. King’s actions during their childhoods.
The Rev. King was first elected as the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957 during the turbulent era of the civil