Daily Mail Reporter Tom Leonard Says U.S. Magazines Refused to Publish FBI Reports Claiming Martin Luther King Jr. Sexual Harassed Dozens of Women and Encouraged a Rapist

Martin Luther King with his wife, Coretta, as they lead a five-day march to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, 1965.
Martin Luther King with his wife, Coretta, as they lead a five-day march to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, 1965.

by Tom Leonard

Listening through headsets into the bugged hotel suite next door, the small group of FBI agents couldn’t quite believe the sordid events that were unfolding.

It was January 1964 and they were hearing what sounded like a pastor raping a female member of his congregation while his boss looked on, laughing and offering advice.

The voices of both men were familiar.

According to the agents sitting in the Willard Hotel, Washington DC, the rapist was an assistant to civil rights leader Martin Luther King. And his chortling companion was the anti-racism icon himself, the man whose ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, delivered a year earlier, continues to inspire activists to this day.

But King’s exalted status could be about to unravel. For, according to a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of King, newly released FBI files reveal that the binge-drinking preacher had affairs with 40 to 45 women, indulged in hotel room orgies and even fathered an illegitimate child. The documents also paint a violent picture of King, whose lust could soon turn to anger.

In May 1965, for example, one agent reported that the civil rights leader had gone to the home of one of his female staff and ‘torn her clothes off of her in an apparent attempt to attack her’.

In the era of today’s #MeToo movement, with its zero-tolerance approach to powerful men who commit sexual misconduct, one might think these shocking revelations would have rocked America’s conscience to its core. The nation even has an annual public holiday to celebrate King’s birthday.

The response, however, has been silence. When David Garrow, whose 1986 biography of King received international acclaim, first tried to publish his new findings, he was turned down by every great liberal publication, including the Washington Post and Atlantic magazine, both of which he has written for in the past.

Eventually, in despair, he gave his findings to a British magazine, Standpoint.

And as of yesterday, only the British media (though not the BBC, which usually has an insatiable appetite for Martin Luther King) had dared to follow up the Standpoint article.

This hesitancy to question the integrity of a man regarded as a saint is all the more astonishing, as these accusations hardly come out of the blue.

While nobody before has alleged that he egged on a rapist, King’s womanising reputation isn’t new. Even close friends admitted that he had a problem with staying faithful to his wife, Coretta Scott King.

The Rev Ralph Abernathy, who cradled King’s head as he lay dying from an assassin’s bullet in 1968 and who took over as the civil rights movement’s leader, confirmed long-standing rumours about his friend’s rapacious sexual appetite. King had a ‘weakness for women’, he said.

Even King acknowledged — without being too specific — that he was a ‘sinner’, regularly telling congregations that ‘there is a Mr Hyde and Dr Jekyll in all of us . . . you don’t need to go out this morning saying that Martin Luther King is a saint’.

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SOURCE: Daily Mail