Tom Benson Saints Files
News outlets including The Associated Press headed to court Wednesday seeking to unseal court records involving the mental competency of billionaire Tom Benson when he rewrote his will to give his third wife ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans sports franchises.Public interest in the 2015 case has been heightened, the news organizations argued, by revelations this year that Saints executives engaged in a behind-the-scenes public relations campaign to help the Archdiocese of New Orleans contain the fallout from a clergy abuse crisis.
“Legitimate questions are being raised about the connection between the team and the local Roman Catholic Church,” attorneys for the news organizations wrote in a court filing.
Attorneys for Benson oppose the request to unseal the proceedings, contending Benson’s privacy concerns continue even after his 2018 death.
Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Kern Reese was expected to hear arguments Wednesday on whether the AP, CNN, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have the right to be heard in the matter.
Reese closed his courtroom throughout the 2015 trial, known in Louisiana as an interdiction, saying secrecy was needed to protect Benson’s medical privacy rights and confidential information about the business operations of the NFL and NBA clubs