BB King's Kids Are Denied Control of His Affairs

Judge rules longtime manager Laverne Toney should retain legal control
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 8, 2015 10:08 AM CDT
BB King's Kids Are Denied Control of His Affairs
Patty King, daughter of B.B. King, cries while leaving Clark County Family Court Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Las Vegas.   (John Locher)

Noted blues man BB King—his health failing at age 89—is in the middle of tug of war between some of his children and his longtime manager. Three of King's 11 surviving said they suspect the blues legend's manager of stealing his money and neglecting his medical care while blocking them—along with friends including Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, and Eric Clapton—from seeing him in home hospice care. But a judge in Las Vegas tossed the dispute out of court yesterday, saying two investigations found no evidence King was being abused and that King's longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, should remain in legal control of his affairs. King was hospitalized a week ago after police were called to his home in a dispute about his condition between Toney and King's daughter, Patty King. No one was arrested and King returned home to hospice care shortly afterward.

Toney and King's lead attorney, Brent Bryson, deny the allegations by Patty King, Karen Williams, and Rita Washington. They say the children can schedule visits just like they always have been able to do. King's personal lawyer, Arthur Williams Jr., and his physician, Dr. Darin Brimhall, said outside the Clark County Family Court hearing that they saw no neglect or abuse. Family Court Hearing Master Jon Norheim said police and social services investigations in October and April uncovered no reason to take power of attorney from Toney. The children say Toney put her family members on the King payroll, and that as much as $1 million or more seems to have disappeared from King's bank accounts. King's children can return to court to press their claim once all family members have been legally informed of the action. (More BB King stories.)

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