Josephine Wright, a 93-year-old South Carolina woman fighting a development group trying to force her to sell her land in Hilton Head, has filed a countersuit against them.
The company is building a 147-unit neighborhood that advances on Wright’s land. However, the land has been in her family since the Civil War and she is doing everything she can to hold onto it. Understandably, Wright wants to pass the land on to her family. She has 16 children, 40 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren.
Bailey Point Investment LLC filed what Wright declares is a “frivolous lawsuit.” Bailey Point says that part of the land is theirs and they are taking it back.
In response to the developer’s outrageous lawsuit, Wright recruited the help of a civil rights attorney to take them on.
“They’re messing with the wrong lady,” Wright’s granddaughter, Charise Graves, told USA TODAY.
In the countersuit, Wright noted that she had suffered intimidation and harassment by the company. The Hilton Head Island native made claims of trespassing and “trashing her property” by cropping shrubs and intentionally coating her vehicle with dirt and debris in a deliberate effort to force her from the property.
“We are ready to fight,” Graves continued. “Right after we tried to alleviate some of that lawsuit by going ahead and taking down some of those encroachments so that she wouldn’t have to suffer through a long trial, the company claimed she wasn’t supposed to be the owner of this property.”
Wright’s real-life David and Goliath story made headlines across the country, drawing the attention of several celebrities, including Hollywood mogul Tyler Perry, who shared a clip of a news station interview with his 7.4 million Instagram followers last month.
“I’ve been a fighter all my life,” she said, noting her family’s history of escaping slavery before being liberated by Union soldiers.
“Well, that makes two of us. Ms. Wright, please tell where to show up and what you need to help you fight,” Perry replied in the post’s caption. Philly rapper Meek Mill chimed in, writing, “Corporate bullying at its finest .. this super hero status!”
Wright is currently raising funds to cover the cost of her legal fees.
At the time of writing, the campaign had raised $177,153 of the family’s $250,000 goal.