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Rita Benson LeBlanc And Gayle Benson Allegedly Had Physical Altercation Prior To Tom Benson Cutting Them Out

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The Times-Picayune's Jeff Duncan reports that sources saw Rita Benson LeBlanc and Gayle Benson exchanged words after the Atlanta Falcons game on December 21st, which ultimately culminated in Rita shaking Gayle only days before Saints' owner Tom Benson cut them out of plans for his estate.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

A new chapter in the Benson saga has unfolded, this time alleging that Tom Benson's granddaughter Rita Benson LeBlanc grabbed and shook Benson's wife, Gayle, after the Saints lost to the Atlanta Falcons on December 21st in 2014, according to's Jeff Duncan.  Duncan cites several separate sources in his report, although these sources chose to remain nameless.  Only six days later, Benson severed ties with the LeBlanc side of the family (Renee Benson, Rita Benson LeBlanc and Ryan LeBlanc) through a letter that stated that he never wanted to see them again.

This altercation, while only an allegation as of now, does seem to fit neatly into the messy Benson-LeBlanc timeline.  It may even be the straw that broke the camel's back.  We already know from testimony that Rita confronted Gayle after Renee (Rita's mother) wasn't allowed to see Tom.  All of Duncan's sources point to Rita as the aggressor.  Eventually, in January, Benson finally banned the LeBlanc family from all operations regarding both the Saints and the Pelicans.

After the game with the altercation in question, Benson reportedly hosted a meeting that lasted over an hour, a rare action for a man that usually goes home directly after games end.  According to Renee Rita & Ryan in the lawsuit filed in January, Gayle shielding Tom isn't uncommon by any means, and Rita had finally had enough, leading to her shaking Gayle trying to gain access.

The next step in the legal proceedings will occur March 13, on which three doctors appointed by the court will evaluate Tom Benson's mental capacity.