Benson trial won't be a spectacle
NEW ORLEANS - The billion-dollar legal fight over Tom Benson's mental status will be closed, a judge decided Tuesday.
The public will be barred from the trial in which estranged heirs of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner intend to argue that their patriarch was mentally unfit when he ousted them from ownership stakes in the franchises.
In January, Benson announced his third wife, Gayle, would inherit the teams instead of his daughter and her two children.
The New Orleans-area judge said the ruling is meant to protect Benson's privacy and business interests. Had the trial been open, the trial would have been constantly opened and closed as privileged information was discussed. The judge said keeping it open was not practical.
The trial is set to start June 1.
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