Martin Luther King 'looked on and laughed' while friend raped woman, unsealed FBI documents claim

March 1965:  Martin Luther King (1929  - 1968) and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a civil rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. On the left (holding bottle) is American diplomat Ralph Bunche (1904 - 1971). (Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)
Martin Luther King was present and 'laughed' while a friend committed rape, unsealed FBI documents allege (Picture: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images)

Unsealed FBI documents have claimed that civil rights activist Martin Luther King ‘looked on and laughed’ while a friend raped a woman.

According to the Sunday Times the unsealed documents, unearthed by biographer David Garrow, make a number of allegations about the civil rights leader.

The FBI reports reveal the extent of government surveillance on Dr King, with one incident allegedly caught on tape by a recording device hidden in a hotel room in Washington DC.

Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta discuss his condition with newsmen at his downtown hotel room in Jackson, Mississippi on August 12, 1966. King, who was there for the annual meeting of his Southern Christian Leadership Conference, missed key activities because of a virus ailment. (AP Photo)
The FBI reportedly used the surveillance to threaten the civil rights activist (Picture: AP)

The documents reportedly allege that Baptist pastor Logan Kearse invited several women back to his room with Dr King, where the pair were recorded discussing sex acts with the women.

One claims: “When one of the women protested that she did not approve, [Mr Kearse] immediately and forcibly raped her”, adding that Dr King “looked on, laughed and offered advice” during the incident.


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According to the Sunday Times, Dr King was allegedly monitored engaging in sex acts with around 40 women and on one occasion claim he coerced a woman into a sex act by claiming it “helps your soul” as well as suggesting he may have secretly fathered a daughter outside his marriage to wife Coretta.

FBI officials apparently tried to use the information to threaten him, sending him an anonymous letter.

Hours of surveillance tapes still exist, Mr Garrow has reportedly claimed, but remain sealed in the US National Archives until 2027.

The biographer is reportedly set to publish his findings in June’s Standpoint magazine.