NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Tom Benson's estranged family members say "the truth will emerge" about his condition.
They released a statement Thursday, saying anyone with "relevant information" in connection with their battle over control of his businesses should come forward.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has refused to hear their appeal to a ruling that Tom Benson was competent when he ousted his estranged family from having anything to do with the Saints, Pelicans and his other businesses. The family members maintain Benson was in a state of mental decline when he decided to leave control of his businesses to his wife, Gayle.
The following is the family members entire statement:
We are disappointed that the Louisiana Supreme Court chose not to hear this case.
We fear that the law as it currently stands allows a person whose mental capacity is questioned to be kept from the stand, and important information to be kept secret, a situation which we believe allows those manipulating someone in a weakened state to conceal the truth. We do believe that in the future the truth will emerge and encourage those with relevant information to continue to come forward. Renee, Rita, and Ryan love and miss Tom Benson very much and will continue to try to protect him however they can. Renee, Rita, and Ryan hope that the Saints and Pelicans enjoy successful upcoming seasons in New Orleans, the City that the Saints and Pelicans should always continue to call home.
Randall A. Smith
Smith & Fawer, LLC
Counsel for Renee Benson, Rita LeBlanc, and Ryan LeBlanc
Tom Benson responded with a statement of his own. The following is his entire statement:
We are in Louisville this week where my wife's GMB Racing operation will start Mo Tom and Tom's Ready this Saturday in the running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby. We had the privilege today to discuss potential business relationships with a number of horse farms in the area.
Gayle and I could not be more excited in our preparations for the Kentucky Derby. And equally so - we are thrilled to bring this excitement to everyone in New Orleans. We are blessed to have a great team of loyal executives and friends. Our three trainers are from New Orleans and our two jockeys come from Louisiana. This is important to me. We are having the time of our lives here in Louisville.
While certain members of my family continue to harass me with negative threatening statements, I continue to plan for the future. Nevertheless, the ingratitude shown by certain members of my family, despite the vast financial and other benefits I have given them, is very hard to accept.
I look forward to an outstanding Kentucky Derby on Saturday, using a productive draft, offseason and upcoming training camp with the Saints as the springboard back to the Super Bowl and reenergizing our fans as we look at every option to get the Pelicans on the road to an NBA championship.