ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. — Billionaire Ted Turner agreed Thursday to drop his lawsuit against a group of Gullah descendants and donate 68 disputed sea island acres to the heirs.
Turner had drawn criticism for suing the Gullah, slave descendants who maintain vestiges of African speech and customs but who have been squeezed off many of the islands they once dominated.
"He understands that this bond of community cannot be preserved unless people stay together, and they cannot stay together unless they have land where they can gather," read a statement issued by attorneys for both sides.
Turner had sued Lands End Woodland Inc., a club formed by the Gullah heirs to protect their 328-acre inheritance on St. Helena Island off Beaufort. Turner spokeswoman Maura Donlan said that he initially didn't know Lands End was connected to the Gullah and that he directed his attorneys to settle the matter once he found out.