B.B. King’s daughters believe he was poisoned by his business manager

B B King

The world felt a huge loss when B.B. King died at the age of 89 on May 15. He lived in Las Vegas and kept up a rigorous touring schedule until last year. King’s death came a few weeks after one of his daughters, Patty, spoke with TMZ about how she suspected elder abuse on behalf of her father’s manager, LaVerne Toney. The two had argued about whether King needed to be hospitalized after what turned out to be a minor heart attack. Toney had power of attorney over King, so Patty called the police in order to summon paramedics. Patty provided TMZ with a haunting photo that showed King in the hospital.

Patty hoped the photo would persuade authorities to help protect her father. She previously alleged that Toney (and his assistant) withheld B.B.’s medication and stole between $20-30 million from her father over the years. Sadly, B.B. King only lived a few more weeks. Patty and another one of King’s daughters, Karen, believe that Toney and his assistant poisoned King to death. Some excerpts from Hollywood Reporter:

Daughters Karen Williams and Patty King allege that family members were prevented from visiting while King’s business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson, hastened their father’s death.

Toney is named in King’s will as executor of an estate that, according to court documents filed by lawyers for some of King’s heirs, could total tens of millions of dollars.

Johnson was at B.B. King’s bedside when he died May 14 in hospice care at home in Las Vegas at age 89. No family members were present.

“I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances,” Patty King and Williams say in identically worded sections of affidavits provided to The Associated Press by their lawyer, Larissa Drohobyczer. “I believe my father was murdered,” they say.

A week before King’s death, a judge in Las Vegas dismissed a request from Williams to take over as King’s guardian. An April 29 petition alleged that Toney had blocked King’s friends from visiting him and had put her family members on King’s payroll. It also alleged that large sums of money had disappeared from King’s bank accounts.

But Clark County Family Court Hearing Master Jon Norheim said on May 7 that police and social services investigations in October and April uncovered no reason to take power-of-attorney from Toney.

Williams, Patty King and another daughter — Rita Washington — vowed to keep fighting. “We lost the battle, but we haven’t lost the war,” Williams said then.

Drohobyczer said she represents Williams, Patty King and most of King’s nine other adult children and heirs. “The family is sticking together … to oust Ms. Toney based on her illegal conduct, conflicts of interest and self-dealing,” she said. She alleged that Toney hastened King’s death by “misconduct, or by failing to properly attend to his medical needs.”

An affidavit from Patty King, who used to live at King’s home, says she saw Johnson administer to King two drops of an unknown substance on his tongue during evenings for several months before his death, and that Toney never told her what the substance was.

[From Hollywood Reporter]

Conflicting reports have come out. A lawyer for King’s estate told the AP there is no active investigation in to King’s death. Attorney Brent Bryson says three different doctors concluded that King received proper care “up until the time he peacefully died in his sleep.” But Yahoo quotes a Nevada coroner’s office, which says Las Vegas police have officially launched a homicide investigation.

This story sounds so harrowing and scary. The day after King died, the coroner initially reported that the cause of death was a series of mini-strokes (related to type 2 diabetes). This past Sunday, an autopsy was performed on King’s body to determine his true cause of death. Results may take up to two months.

B B King

B B King

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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21 Responses to “B.B. King’s daughters believe he was poisoned by his business manager”

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  1. SolitaryAngel says:

    OMG, I hope this isn’t true! Poor old man; I hope his children can find the truth and get justice for him–whatever justice there can be.

    RIP Mr. King.

  2. Nine OTHER children–how many children did he have?? And why weren’t any of them his care givers?

    • Belle Epoch says:

      Actually I’m in the same boat. Many old people get smooth-talked into arrangements with shady types who are after their money. A banker persuaded my parents that she would take care of their every need as they grew older. She visited and brought presents and pursued them, and they were too stupid to see the scam. My parents signed the papers in their 80s and now the bank has 100% control of their funds- and my parents are being neglected. I hired a lawyer and pointed out to the bank all the medical and financial abuses that were taking place, but I do not have power of attorney and nothing changed. Now my parents are in their 90s and being robbed daily. I live on disability, have no access to their money, and cannot help them, even though my mother calls me and asks me to. She already signed her life away. I’m sure the manager told BB King it would be better to prevent arguing among the children by giving one of them control.

      • Esmom says:

        Oh my goodness, Belle Epoch, that’s horrifying. I can’t even imagine, so sorry.

        And I’m sure the famous/wealthy elderly like King get targeted even more heavily. This sounds suspiciously like what happened with Ernie Banks, too.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        That is so terrible, and I’m saddened and outraged at your predicament. I think these “financial advisors” are often such slime. My husband’s aunt and uncle were very wealthy. When his uncle died, he had a good financial plan and will in place for the aunt, who was very naive about money. He hired a financial planner just to make sure everything went smoothly, and that guy was scum. Every time we turned around, he had talked the aunt into revising the will so that everything was in trust with him as the trustee. My husband would explain the ramifications to her, and she would be horrified and change it back. All this with lawyers fees for drafts and redrafts of the will – he must have wasted half a million dollars. It’s sickening and there needs to be some kind of oversight for these criminals in bankers’ clothing.

      • Esmom says:

        GoodNames, thanks goodness your husband’s aunt had him to keep the vultures at bay. They count on the fact that most people do not have such oversight. It really is sickening that these criminals prey on the elderly and usually get away with it.

      • Jesmari says:

        Belle it is not too late. They are still alive and if they are lucid the can makes changes. It sounds like you are all on a fixed income, so look and see if your local Legal Aid or local public service firm has an elder law unit. They may be able to help you. You should also send a letter to the Governor and the Attorney General with as many details as possible. Good luck.

    • Dewdrop says:

      I’ve heard he has around 15 children

    • elle says:

      15 children.

  3. Nhi says:

    I would NEVER allowed anybody else than me to take care of my grandparents or my mom! NEVER!!! Family is family and just like they took care of me when I was a baby and later on I would and I am, giving them my all!! If they suspected that manager to be a bad person who will eventually do him harm they should have taken steps to have her removed, period!

    • Belle Epoch says:

      NHI see my note. I tried to take over the care of my parents and was legally prevented from doing so. The manager surely knows how to keep the kids out of the loop – and who knows what kind of lies BB was told?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      NIH, often the children have no choice. As Belle Epoch stated in her story, these creeps flatter and charm their way into the elderly person’s confidence, and the papers are signed and you can do nothing. They use arguments like “this will keep your children from fighting over money” and things like that. It’s rampant, and something needs to be done.

      • Nhi says:

        @Belle & @GNAT oh yes, I hear what you are saying gals, there are predators out there searching for vulnerable old ppl, and that should be severely punished by law!! But some kids just don’t give a hoot about their parents until it’s time to get the money so these old folks are unprotected and being influenced by third party.. and old people really start resembling kids at some point and can be persuaded into doing something they wouldn’t normally do.

  4. Dana m says:

    This is such a heartwrenching story. Truly dispicable if allegations are true. May BB rest in peace.

    I make it clear to my parents frequently that they will live with me when the time comes. That’s the plan and they know I will take good care for them just like they did their best to care for me.

  5. Helen says:

    They might have told him a ton of lies and made him think his children were just out for money, or weren’t capable of handling money.

    Elderly sick people are vulnerable. My dad left everything when he died to his new girlfriend. I mean, his money, his choice and everything, but I feel as if it sucked for me and my sisters to feel rejected by him at the end, especially as we really put up with a lot from him over the years. It’s never just the money, it’s the emotional weight of these decisions.

    I hope they can get some conclusive, clear findings from the tests, otherwise his children will always wonder, and fret over it.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      HELEN I’m really sorry to hear that! Unfortunately you are not alone. My friend’s father did the same thing. Apparently the stockbroker could hear the girlfriend in the background dictating to the old guy what to say. She also was smart enough to take a few million in gifts, like paintings and jewelry, which are irretrievable. He was so thrilled to have a younger girlfriend he completely screwed his own family.

      • PinaColada says:

        Ugh, every time my dad gets a new gf, he revises all he stuff to make her the beneficiary. Then it falls apart as always and he has us sign as witness to set it back to us. He’s only 58, not in his 80s! It was really offensive at first. We’ve been the ones to pick him up emotionally, help after 2 major health incidences/cook:/clean/transport him etc etc but we’re out each time. We don’t want his money (and he is quite wealthy) and have accepted that we won’t get it. But again- it’s so offensive as his kids and only living family to be cast aside for each new younger woman. We also are his “back up” for holidays. He will host Christmas etc with his current gf and her children and not invite us, and schedule us on some different day at our own house or restaurant.

  6. StormsMama says:

    I took care of an ailing paraplegic artist for 2 years- I was one of 3 people (the other being 2 of his 4 adult children) and I can tell you that it IS possible the caregiver did everything morally and legally right-
    And that the kids had no interest in an old dying man and all the “boring tedious mess” that entails
    And they simply want money and control now that the fortune is on the table.
    Money does CRAZY things to emotionally conflicted family members.

    I guess my point is, I hope he was not abused or swindled. I hope he died happily and securely, honored and peacefully. I hope this is much ado about nothing. I hope they are just in denial of where they stand in the will.
    I hope BBs legacy is not dragged through the mud and scum of a messy battle for money. Just the fact that they said they lost the battle not the war. Wtf?! Why was it ever a WAR?
    Ugh. So sad.

    Rest in Peace BB

  7. Michelle says:

    There are few things on this earth that enrage me like elder abuse does, but there has so far been zero reason to believe any of these accusations are actually true. BB’s daughters began fighting for “custody” of their father from the time he began getting sick, even alleging elder abuse at the time which led to TWO investigations where no signs of foul play were found. BB was 89 YEARS OLD and lived with diabetes for most of his life. It is honestly a miracle that he lived as long as he did. It has been alleged that it was BB’s wishes that his family was kept at bay because they were “gold diggers,” and sadly this seems to be the case once again.

    An autopsy is being performed, so we’ll see.

    • Lizzie K says:

      Also, B.B.’s manager, LaVerne Toney, has been with B.B. for 40 years. She didn’t just appear when he was frail and elderly.

      • Ankhel says:

        I know, the manager and King appears to have been close friends, and King’s work was his life. He worked every night, six or seven days a week, and toured a great deal. Fifteen kids, how close could he have been to most of them? They have been speculating out loud about how much they’ll get long before he died…