Tuesday 16 January 2018

DNA test bid by prison inmate who claims to be Prince's son - and heir to $500m

Prince performing at the US Super Bowl in 2007. Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters
Prince performing at the US Super Bowl in 2007. Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters

Steve Gorman

A man serving time in a federal prison in Colorado has come forward claiming he is the biological son and legal heir of the late pop star Prince, marking the first paternity claim filed in court since the recording artist's death last month.

Lawyers for Carlin Q. Williams (39), filed a petition in Carver County District Court near Minneapolis on Monday objecting to probate of the estate left by Prince, who according to the performer's sister, Tyka Nelson, left behind no will and no surviving offspring.

The petition seeks a hearing and a court order for genetic testing of DNA samples obtained from the late music star.

The petition was accompanied by a sworn affidavit filed by a Missouri woman, Marsha J. Henson, who claims she is Williams' mother and he was sired by Prince during a tryst she had with the singer in a Kansas City hotel room in July 1976.

Henson states she had not had sex with anyone six weeks before she slept with Prince, nor with anyone else before she gave birth to Williams nine months later.

Williams was sentenced in May 2014 to seven-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm as a felon, federal court records show.

Williams previously was twice convicted on drug charges and for resisting arrest.

The memorandum states he had "limited guidance" as a child, and was primarily raised by his grandmother. It also says Williams had seven half siblings, none of whom share a father with him, adding, "His father had no presence at all in his life," but the document does not identify him.

Williams' paternity petition, which makes no mention of his criminal record, says he "claims to be a legal heir" of Prince, and goes on to state his belief that "he is or may be the sole surviving legal heir."

Questions about Prince's estate have loomed since his unexpected death last month at age 57.

The value of his music catalogue - potential licensing fees, royalties and sales from more than 30 albums he produced - has been estimated at more than $500m (€436m).

And that does not include an extensive cache of unreleased recordings he was said to have locked away in a vault at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota.

Irish Independent

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