Two of B.B. King’s daughters say the blues legend was poisoned, shocking allegations that have sparked a Las Vegas homicide investigation.
Karen Williams and Patty King accused the guitar hero’s longtime aides, LaVerne Toney and Myron Johnson, of poisoning their beloved father, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
“I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances,” the sisters wrote in matching affidavits released by their lawyer. “I believe my father was murdered.”
Patty claims she saw Toney administer a mysterious liquid to King in the months prior to his May 14 death at his Vegas home.
SinCity police confirmed that homicide detectives are investigating the case.
The results of an autopsy performed Sunday on the embalmed body could take up to eight weeks, the Clark County coroner said.
King’s daughters say Toney wouldn’t let them see the body of their 89-year-old dad for a week and forbade them from photographing him in his casket.
“We’re his children,” Patty said Thursday following a private family wake. “We’re going to fight this with every breath in our body.”
But Toney, who spent nearly four decades managing King’s career and was named the executor of his estate, told the AP there has always been family drama.
“They’ve been making allegations all along,” she said. “What’s new?”
No one in King’s sprawling family, which includes 15 children and at least 50 grandchildren, were at his bedside when he died. Johnson, who worked as King’s personal assistant, was the only one there.
Brent Bryson, the lawyer representing King’s estate, called the daughters’ claims “extremely disrespectful.”
“These unfounded allegations have caused Mr. King to undergo an autopsy, which is exactly what he didn’t want,” Bryson said.
Memorials for the King of the Blues drew large crowds across the country last week as the world mourned his loss.
His body is currently on a final multistate road tour from Las Vegas through Tennessee and into Mississippi.
The music man will be laid to rest May 30 at a service in his hometown of Indianola, Miss.
Hundreds gathered Sunday at the annual B.B. King Homecoming Festival, a free concert series King set up 35 years ago. This was the first year the R&B singer didn’t make an appearance.
“There is a sadness, but at the same time, this is a celebration,” said Dion Brown, executive director of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center.