The Tom Benson ownership drama continues, as Tom releases a strong statement to his family after they filed a suit, claiming he was incompetent to own a franchise.

Yesterday, Benson unveiled a new succession plan for ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans after he dies, one that will give his wife, Gayle, full ownership and controlling interest of both franchises.

The plan was altered from his original succession plan that called for 60% ownership to go to his daugher Renee LeBlanc, 20% ownership to his grandson Ryan LeBlanc, and 20% ownership to his granddaughter Rita-Benson LeBlanc.

Rita-Benson was once Tom's handpicked successor.

The LeBlancs filed a lawsuit today seeking to block the new succession plan, claiming Benson was unhealthy at age 87, and too incompetent to control both franchises. It also painted Gayle as a manipulative gold-digger. (Click here to read the lawsuit)

Needless to say, the owner of the Saints and Pelicans wasn't happy about the lawsuit, and responded with the following statement.

“I am extremely disappointed by the lawsuit filed against me today by my daughter and two grandchildren. Their allegations regarding my mental health are completely meritless and their allegations against my wife equally unfounded. I will vigorously defend my decisions and the businesses I have built. The false accusations in this suit further support the actions I have taken in changing the succession and transfer of ownership. There is a small sign that sits on my desk and simply states. 'Tough times never last; but tough people do.'

"Make no mistake, I will be back in the office tomorrow morning working hard, as I do every day, to ensure that the Saints and Pelicans are positioned for long-term success. This State, City and our great fans deserve that. I have instructed my staff to have no comment on this lawsuit moving forward.”


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