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Attorney Describes Larry Miller’s Meetings with Victim’s Family – WWD

Although Jordan Brand president Larry Miller’s memoir, “Jump: My Secret Journey From the Street to the Boardroom,” was officially announced today, it sparked controversy long before its release. copy.

In the book, Miller, who served as president of the Portland Trail Blazers before joining parent company Jordan Brand Nike, detailing his own crimes, including the 1965 shooting and murder of another teenager in West Philadelphia. He testified that he did not know the individual, who was identified last fall as Edward David White.

Miller first went public about his criminal past and time serving in juvenile detention centers and prisons in an interview with Sports Illustrated last October. The fact that White was not identified in Miller’s new book and that Miller did not contact his family prior to its release worried White’s relatives. They learned of Miller’s responsibilities indirectly through prior interviews he conducted last fall.

White’s relatives first expressed their displeasure in an interview with The New York Times late last year. According to Jared S. Zafran LLC’s attorney Ronald L. Marrero, several members of his family — older sister Barbara Mack, daughter Azizah Arline and son Hasan Adams — then met Miller and the daughter of his co-writer. His name is Laila Lacy. White’s family also disputed a newspaper story from decades ago that depicted White as a rival gang member, and said he was coming home from work when he met Miller in 1965. “It wasn’t that. case and Mr. Miller admitted it and he did. White doesn’t know, and he’s looking for revenge for a gang problem. And Mr. White was unknown to him and was merely someone in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Marrero said.

Miller met Mack, Arline and Adams for the first time last month for 60 to 90 minutes, and at the second 30 to 40 minute meeting on January 13, according to Marrero, who arranged and attended the meeting. at his corporate office in Philadelphia. At the age of 16, Miller was found guilty of second-degree murder and he is said to have served four and a half years for that crime.

Although all three of White’s relatives forgave Miller for the murder, their attorney said, “They were certainly not happy with how it all started. They were not necessarily satisfied with some outreach from the Millers, even after we had set up these meetings. They felt that Mr. Miller could be more proactive with all of this. Ultimately, they are still going through their initial processing and coping mechanisms for emotions. They are not satisfied with the initial steps and are reserving judgment to fully see whether Mr Miller was stubborn about his actions. They wanted to make sure he did what he said he wanted to do.”

A spokesperson for Harper Collins acknowledged multiple interview requests last month, who offered to schedule an interview this month, but as of Tuesday had failed to do so. The media asked female spokespersons and Nike was not immediately answered.

Mack, White’s 84-year-old sister, attended the first meeting with Adams and Arline at the Zafran office. Describing the encounter as “very rudimentary,” Marrero said Miller and his daughter were sitting across from three of White’s relatives at a conference table. Standing in the strict corner as an observer, Marrero described it as “very emotional” and that he didn’t expect Mack to tell Miller she had forgiven him. “I didn’t know I could do it. Obviously, she was a person of faith and was able to gain that trust to do so,” said Marrero. “She said in the first meeting that if she was younger than 30, she would jump across the table to get to him. He was looking down and saying, ‘You were right to do so.’ And he apologized again.”

That first meeting was held to “hear from Mr. Miller, who apologized for his actions 50 years ago. He also apologized for not contacting his family before writing the book and publishing the article [with Sports Illustrated in October],” said Marrero. “He also said he had hired a private investigator to try to locate the family and Ms Mack responded by saying, ‘You don’t have to hire a good PI, because The New The York Times found not only them, but the cemetery as well. where Mr. White is buried. ”

According to the attorney, each of White’s relatives addressed Miller. According to the family’s attorney, Mack read a letter she intended to send to the book’s publisher, but not because The Times interviewed her. Adams told Miller about how he never knew his father and how he gave his son, who shares the same birthday as White, the middle name “David”, which is his father’s middle name. Marrero said White’s daughter also read from a letter about growing up without a father, not being picked up by him on their wedding day or seeing his sons. She also told Miller how “this whole thing has grieved her” and opened a new wound for her and Adams, as they didn’t know their father and were previously unable to grieve along. In this way, the lawyer added that Mack said the experience reopened old wounds for her that she had tried to push back into the past.

White’s relatives also spoke of learning that Miller was responsible for White’s death through internet sources and not someone contacting them, Marrero said. Mack “forgave Miller, specifically telling him that in order to be forgiven, she must forgive .” [referencing a Psalm],” said Marrero, adding that Arline and Adams “have both forgiven him. They explained that they were still processing things.”

The prospect of creating a scholarship named after White was discussed at Miller’s second meeting with White’s daughter and son, but nothing definitive was agreed upon, according to Marrero, according to Marrero. Miller discussed how he established a scholarship (Jordan Brand Wings Scholars Program in 2015) through his work at Nike administered through the United Negro College Fund, attorney for know. They said they had someone who worked at that program and provided that person’s name, whom Marrero said he emailed on Monday to follow up to begin the process of setting up the scholarship.

Nothing was signed between Miller and White’s relatives and there was no legal basis to force him to do this, Marrero said. “Son of Sam law does not allow for the recovery of proceeds from the book or any offense at this time. There is no contract for this. There will also be no basis for establishing this type of contract. At this point, he said he wanted to do this and agreed it would be a good way to honor the legacy. And he gave us contacts to start that process. At this point, it’s a situation where he will follow through on his word and want to honor Mr. White’s legacy to make good for his actions in the past. ”

Miller and his daughter are trying to get more of the White family involved and involved in setting up something as a way to honor him, Marrero said. Regarding forcing the family to run after the ball, the lawyer said: “Instead of just mentioning my name and giving my contact information to this person later, he should have let them approach. But that seems to have been the pattern all along. He didn’t do the outreach activities you think [he would do]. ”

Marrero said no numbers were discussed regarding the financial commitment to the scholarship.

White’s two children attended a second meeting last week with Miller and his daughter. Marrero said Mack did not attend that meeting and is no longer interested in any contact with Miller. Mack is interested in continuing the scholarship.

Arline suggests scholarships should start with White’s direct descendants, including her own children, as well as her brother’s children. The second level will be the descendants of White’s parents. If there are not any family applicants, or if the scholarship is funded to a degree that allows family and non-family applicants, the scholarship will then come from White’s alma mater, West High School. Philadelphia.

While the fact that White was not named in the new book was a point of contention with his family, his relatives did not ask that the book be modified to include his name, nor did Miller or Lacy offer to do so. same in both meetings. , Marrero said.

Apart from media requests to the White family, no one has expressed interest in writing letters book about their stories, documentaries, or anything along those lines. “They’re not even sure they want to do the media to tell you the truth,” says Marrero. “They wanted to tell their story and certainly the story of how they forgave Mr. Miller. But I don’t think they discovered that and gave any real thought to that aspect of it. ”

The White family also did not seek or discuss the possibility of ostracism. Marrero said that Miller’s change resonated with everyone. “There is a story of redemption there that you obviously want to hear in American society. I don’t know if it will lead to a boycott just from his actions. If people feel that he’s not really stubborn [sic] and was really sincere in his apology, and more importantly, with subsequent actions like scholarships, I think the family would then want to reach out to various members of the media to say that he She didn’t keep her word… but I don’t know if it will lead to any real boycott of Nike or the Jordan brand in any real way. ”

Personally, Marrero said he can understand why Nike would want to push this version of Miller and how he’s made mistakes in the past, was able to overcome them and become a pole member. effective period in society. “That’s what we want from the criminal justice system, especially when we’re talking about real reforms that have been pushed through the country with multiple levels of criminal justice reform. This is one of those things that can be a success story. I can see them using some of these things to help their brand,” said Marrero.

Acknowledging that recognizing White in the book before it was published would have been an important part of telling that story, the attorney said, “It was definitely a step in the wrong direction on their part. If they did it right, they would have contacted the family in the first place and brought them on board. The image of an apology and forgiveness being forgiven will mean much more than the way it turned out. They got it but they had to get it in the meetings after the articles were published. It has upset the family already. It should have been done, it should have been done before.”

https://wwd.com/eye/people/jordan-brand-chairman-larry-miller-meets-murder-victims-family-1235036813/ Attorney Describes Larry Miller’s Meetings with Victim’s Family – WWD

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