The Battle for Prince's Estate: A Complete List of Who Is Staking a Claim to His Millions
On the topic of locating a will, “We’ve looked under every box lid,” said David Crosby, a lawyer for Prince’s bank Bremer Trust, according the Star Tribune. He added, “The inquiry is coming to a close very soon.”
Prince was 57 when he died at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21. Six weeks after his death, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office released a statement announcing the music icon died of an opioid overdose, with the death being ruled an accident after “the decedent self-administered fentanyl,” a highly addictive painkiller.
In May, a source close to the estate situation told PEOPLE it likely won’t be settled for months – or years – because parties can submit and object to claims up until Sept. 12.
“At this point, we’re looking at something that’s probably going to last through the year, at least. It just depends on if everyone agrees with everyone’s claims. It could be done very quickly,” said the source. “It’s just a lot of speculation at this point. Eventually all things will come to appear clear, but it is a slow process: That’s the bottom line.”
Below is a comprehensive list of parties – from his sister and half-siblings to alleged long-lost heirs and companies he reportedly owed money – who have filed court documents to cash in on Prince’s millions.
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Prince’s only full sibling, Tyka Nelson, was the first to file court documents on April 26, submitting a petition for formal appointment of special administrator five days after her brother’s death.
“I am an interested person as defined by Minnesota law because I am the Decedent’s heir,” Nelson wrote, including an attached exhibit of interested persons she names as heirs: herself, half-brother John Nelson, half-sister Norrine Nelson, half-sister Sharon Nelson, half-brother Alfred Jackson, half-brother Omar [sic] Baker and deceased sister Lorna Nelson (whom she wrote had “no children”).
Born in 1940, Sharon is the oldest half-sister from the first marriage of Prince’s father. Like her famous sibling, Sharon is also a musician, and in 2009 she released an album entitled 57th Street Sound that included collaborations with her father and sister Lorna, who died in 2006. She is listed in court documents as an “interested party” in Prince’s holdings.
As one of five half-siblings listed on initial court documents about the case, Norrine has a strong claim on the singer’s estate. Little information is available about Prince’s elder half-sister, born in 1942 to Prince’s father and his first wife, and their relationship in later years remains unclear.
John R. Nelson
John R. Nelson is Prince’s oldest half-brother, born in 1944 to Prince’s father and his first wife. Not much is known publicly of his life, although he is listed as a resident of Kansas City, Missouri.
Prince’s mother gave birth to his older half-brother, Alfred, during an earlier relationship. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and spent many years living in a Minneapolis-area Veteran’s Association hospital. His status as a beneficiary was hampered by a report from an unnamed individual stating that he had gone missing and was not psychologically well. Both of these allegations proved false. Interestingly, he had been seen several days before the report was filed at a meeting concerning Prince’s estate, during which Tyka Nelson reportedly stormed out. This has led some to speculate that one or more of the siblings filed the report in an effort to have Alfred declared mentally incompetent.
Omarr Baker is Prince’s younger half -brother, the son of his mother and stepfather. The nature of his relationship with Prince in recent years is unknown, although his home in a Minneapolis suburb was reportedly owned by the superstar.
Brianna Nelson claims to be the daughter of the late Duane Nelson Sr. – identified in the affidavit as Prince’s half brother – which would make her the artist’s half-niece. Following her father’s death in 2011, Brianna believes she is entitled to his share of Prince’s estate. However, Duane was not named in the original probate case filed by Tyka Nelson. “It could have just been an oversight. I’m not reading nefarious intent into it,” Brianna’s lawyer told the New York Daily News. Tyka did issue a statement when Duane, who at one point served as Prince’s head of security, died.
The late Duane Nelson Sr. had only one grandchild, born to his son, Duane Jr. The younger Duane died in 2005, leaving behind a 1-year-old daughter, Victoria. Her mother, Jeannie Halloran, has filed suit claiming that Victoria is Prince’s half-grandniece and entitled to one-half a share (or 1/14th) of the estate.
Darcell Gresham Johnston
Johnston came forward in early May claiming to be Prince’s long-lost half sister, born from the same mother but a different father. Court documents list her as an “interested party” in the holdings of the late singer, and consents to the “appointment of Bremer Trust, National Association as Special Administrator for the Estate.” Prince’s other siblings learned of her existence just days before the claim was filed.
Carlin Q. Williams
Currently in prison for charges stemming from gun possession, Williams alleges that he is Prince’s illegitimate son. His mother, Marsha J. Henson, filed an affidavit claiming that she met Prince in the lobby of a Kansas City, Missouri, hotel in 1976. According to her story, they had unprotected sex later that evening, and she became pregnant with Carlin. TMZ reports that DNA test results concluded that there is no chance that he is related to the music legend. It’s uncertain whether legal proceedings will continue in light of this new information.
Norman Yates Carthens
Prince has no known biological children, but Norman Yates Carthens claims that he was adopted by the musician as his only son. He is vague on the details of when and why this adoption took place, but says he can provide concrete proof once he is released from Barnwell County Jail in South Carolina. While Prince’s estate maintains that the artist died without a will, Norman insists one exists because he’s listed as an heir and due to inherit $7 million. He filed a Demand for Notice against the estate on June 6.
Regina L. Sorenson
Claiming to be a half sibling and “business partner” of the late musician, Regina Sorenson alleges that Prince’s estate owes her an “undetermined amount.” In an affidavit filed on June 3, she says she lived with the Nelson family until both she and Prince were removed from the household by Child Protective Services after “severe abuse” at the hands of their older siblings. Prince never publicly spoke about these incidents, if they ever took place. Regina maintains there is a trust in her name, and wishes to be included in the DNA testing for potential heirs.
Confusingly, though she professes to share the same paternity as Prince, she lists their biological father as “Paul Lenard Newman of Connecticut.” The Oscar-winning actor Paul Leonard Newman did indeed hail from Connecticut, and she speaks of traveling with him “across [the] country from stage to stage and movie set to movie set from birth.” In addition to an apparent career as a commercial actress, model, and “blind ballet dancer,” she also claims to have been fostered by celebrities including Shirley Jones, Michael Landon, Ryan O’Neal, and various members of the Disney family.
Kimberly Felecia Potts
Kimberly Felecia Potts of Tallassee, Alabama, says she is due $500,000 of the icon’s estate, alleging she is responsible for Prince’s 2004 album Musicology. “I am the creator of the Musicology. I created Musicology in the NPG Music Club in 2004. Prince invited me to Paisley Park in Nov. 2015 to reopen the NPG MC, and to reward me for Musicology,” Kimberly claims in her statement, alleging her claim is secured by “NPG MC records,” “conversations” and “Twitter Account chats.”
Atlanta resident, R. Kerr, filed a statement of claim in Minnesota’s Carver County District Court, alleging Prince owes her $46,582.29 for “recording cost, post production, equipment rental.”
General Dr. Karolina R. Kennedy Ferrara (A.K.A. Maleika S. Mosley)
An Atalanta resident claiming to be a “Harvard-educated Attorney/Judge and Surgeon/Biomedical Researcher” filed a claim on May 6th seeking over $750 million from Prince’s estate. Calling herself many names, but “currently existing as Maleika S. Mosley,” the woman submitted a detailed three page letter in which she outlined her “now 40 years long post-Civil Rights Movement Sociopolitical Hostage Crisis,” for which she’s been seeking compensation from Prince since the mid-1980s.
Rodney Herachio Dixon
A resident of Murrieta, California, Rodney Dixon filed a bold claim alleging that he had a verbal agreement with Prince that gave him complete ownership of the artist’s musical catalog and vast vault of unreleased recordings. He filed similar motions in the mid-1990s under the names Aeric Alexander Mercury and Rameses America Mercury, which he says were ignored by Prince’s representatives. In the current claim, Rodney asserts himself as the “sole and exclusive owner of all intellectual properties after the death of Prince Rogers Nelson” and maintains that he is owed $1 billion. Attorneys for the singer’s estate dismissed the motion as “frivolous.”
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As treasurer of Eighth Day Sound System, Inc. – a Highland Heights, Ohio, music business – Bellante claims the estate owes her $256,010.89 for services provided from Nov. 13, 2014 to May 16, 2015.
“Our company provided audio services for rehearsals, shows and events for Prince at Paisley Park, as well as other venues requested by production,” Bellante asserts in her statement. “Invoices were addressed to NPG Music Publishing, which was one of Prince’s touring production companies.”
Roskco A. Motes
Dr. Roskco A. Motes wrote, “I have a financial or property interest in the Estae of the Decedent, for the following reason,” in a June 10 demand for notice document. “I am the half-brother of Prince Rogers Nelson.”
Venita Giselle Jackson Leverette
Leverette submitted an affidavit of heirship, claiming she is a half-sister of Prince because: “Alfred B. Jackson Senior is my father … According to the marriage certificate filed in Jackson County, Missouri on Feb. 19, 1953, my father was married to Mattie Shaw (“Mattie”), Decedent’s mother.”
Leverette goes on to say, “Alfred, Sr. is also the father of Decedent, making myself the half-sister of Decedent.”(Prince’s biological father is jazz musician John L. Nelson.)
Leverette says she is the sister of Prince’s half-brother, Alfred, Jr., and alleges, “I was told by my brother, Alfred Jr., that Mattie confided in him that our father, Alfred, Sr., may also be Decedent’s father.”
April Lashaun Seward, Martha Samuels, James Austin Womack, Priscilla Williams, Lorraine M. Huddlestom, Dana Samuels Nettles, Jonette M. Carter and Michael Samuels
The aforementioned people each filed demand for notice papers or heirship affidavits on June 14, each alleging: “I have an interest in this matter based on my being a descendant of Virginia Nelson (Thompson) the sibling of the decedent’s great-grandfather, Clarence Nelson.”
All parties listed are from across the country (from Southfield, Michigan, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana), and each signed the documents, “Under penalties for perjury, I declare that I have read this document and I know or believe its representations are true and complete.”
Nicole Patricia White
Brooklyn resident White filed a statement of claim on June 14, asserting she’s indebted a “share” of Prince’s estate because a DNA test will prove a familial relationship.
“I would like to be included in the official DNA testing,” she wrote in her statement. “I will be obtaining legal counsel and representation.”
Michael John Darling
Now a Rush City, Minnesota, resident, Darling called himself a “potential heir” to Prince’s estate – and asked the court add another judge, former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, to handle the estate – in his June 21 correspondence.
“Since I have not seen the last Will and Testament, I might be one of the named HEIRS to the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson in his Last Will and Testament,” Darling wrote.