Blues great B.B. King passed away at age 89 years old Thursday, after suffering from diabetes and other health problems. He leaves behind an unmatched musical legacy in the Blues genre, along with 11 surviving children and reportedly more than 50 grandchildren.
Sadly, a dark cloud hung over the King family throughout his final days, due to a bitter dispute over the management of his care and money, involving what some claimed to be elder abuse. The battle pitted his longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, against a handful of his children.
King fathered and adopted a total of 15 children, from several different marriages, but four had previously died. Three filed a court action in Las Vegas alleging that their famous father was a victim of elder abuse at the hands of Toney.
Karen Williams, Rita Washington, and Patty King said that Toney was not providing proper medical care to their father, restricted his children and friends from visiting, and that there were large amounts of money missing from King’s bank account. In fact, the family said it could not account for more than one million dollars. The three children asked the court to appoint an independent guardian for their father to protect him and his assets.