NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A lawyer for the estranged heirs of Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson says the courtroom was "somber" and "emotional" as his clients began testifying about their patriarch's mental state.

Taking the witness stand on Tuesday were Benson's daughter, Renee, and his granddaughter, Rita LeBlanc. The pair, along with Renee Benson's son, Ryan LeBlanc, claim in a lawsuit filed in January that Tom Benson was not of sound mind when he ousted them from ownership positions five months ago, instead leaving his third wife in position to take over.

Renee Benson answered questions from both sides' lawyers for about five hours. Rita LeBlanc took questions from her attorney and is expected to undergo cross examination Wednesday.

The trial is closed to the public and participants are under a gag order.

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