Shortly after news broke that Saints owner Tom Benson has been ordered to undergo a mental exam as family members claim in court that he’s not competent to manage his businesses, Benson released a statement saying that he’s more firm than ever in his belief that he knows what he’s doing.
The 87-year-old Benson released a statement saying his daughter and grandchildren will not be able to use the courts to gain control of his football team and other assets.
“While I am extremely disappointed in these lawsuits filed by Renee [Benson], Rita [LeBlanc] and Ryan [LeBlanc] against me in Texas and Louisiana that have challenged my competency and my ability to manage my own assets, I must state right now that it has only strengthened my resolve to defend what I have built over the last fifty plus years,” Benson said in a statement. “The very businesses from which those that have brought these lawsuits have benefitted.
“I have instructed my attorneys to spare no effort in defending my rights and the decisions I have made. The decisions I have made are well within my rights to make at any point in my life, and rest assured that I am making sound decisions. I need not look any further than to read the allegations made against me in these multiple lawsuits to rest easy that I have made the correct decisions. As I stated on January 22, the decisions I am making now will benefit the long term success, stability and continuity of the New Orleans Saints, Pelicans and all of the businesses I have built. With stability and continuity comes success and with success comes great things for our community, our city, our state and most importantly, our fans.
“In addition, I have instructed my attorney Phil Wittmann to bring forth this medical exam of me as soon as possible. I look forward to taking this test. I respect the Honorable Kern Reese’ decision today, as I know he had a tough decision to make, but I look forward to putting this behind us and moving on.”
Benson insists that he will run his team as long as he lives and then bequeath the team to his wife. His daughter (from a previous marriage) and grandchildren insist that they won’t give up what they think is rightfully theirs without a fight. This is already a sordid family story, and it may get uglier, as neither side looks willing to back down.