You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Prince's heirs: Who's in, who's out?

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/21/2016 Maria Puente

Prince © Marc Ducrest, Montreux Jazz Festival via EPA Prince Who's in the pool of potential heirs to the multimillion-dollar estate of Prince? The estate administrator started declaring winners and losers Wednesday.

In the process, documents made public in the Prince estate case in Carver County, Minn., show that some claimants to the late Prince Rogers Nelson's estate sought to prove that Prince's mother had an affair with another man who was supposedly the real father of Prince.

But the special administrator of the estate, Bremer Trust, shut them down in letters from the trust lawyer, David Crosby, filed in the probate court proceeding presided over by Judge Kevin Eide.   

They show that the process of determining who is a legitimate relative of Prince, who died April 21 at his Paisley Park compound in Carver County, can be messy, time-consuming and potentially embarrassing to people who have died and can no longer defend themselves. 

Here's what Bremer Trust says about some of the claimed heirs to Prince:

In: Prince's full sister, Tyka Nelson. Both were the children of Mattie Shaw and John Lewis Nelson, who were married at the time they were born and thus, under Minnesota law, are presumed to be their genetic parents. So there is no need for genetic testing of Tyka because her relationship to Prince is irrefutable.  

In: Sharon, Norrine and John Rodger Nelson, the children of Prince's father during his earlier marriage to their mother Vivian Nelson. The three are Prince's half-siblings as a matter of law and no genetic testing is required to establish their relationship to Prince.  

In: Alfred Alonzo Jackson, who is the son of Mattie born during her earlier marriage to Alfred B. Jackson Sr. No genetic testing necessary, Bremer Trust declared.

In: Omarr Julius Baker, the son of Mattie and another man, Hayward Julius Baker, who may or may not have been married to her at the time. "I am still trying to obtain that information," Omarr Baker says in his affidavit. Nevertheless, since it's undisputed that he is the son of Mattie and Mattie was Prince's mother, he's a half-sibling as a matter of law and no genetic testing is necessary. 

These six siblings and half-siblings are the same people listed as Prince's only heirs in Tyka Nelson's original paperwork seeking a special administrator for the estate in the absence of a known will. But now it's official. 

Out: Darcell Gresham Johnston, Orrine Gresham and Loyal James "Jimmy" Gresham III, all of whom tried to claim they were Prince's natural half-siblings because their father, Loyal James Gresham Jr., allegedly fathered Prince in an illicit affair he had with Mattie (their court documents misspell her name as Maddie) in 1957, even though he was a pal of John Lewis Nelson. (Prince was born in 1958.)

"I understand that my father did not openly acknowledge Prince as his son out of respect for Maddie and her then-husband and my father’s friend, John Nelson," Jimmy Gresham said in his affidavit. 

But the Greshams are out of luck. Bremer Trust declared their claim is "dependent upon another person other than John" being Prince's father, but "the presumption that John is (Prince's) genetic father is conclusive and cannot be challenged at this point," trust lawyer Crosby wrote. Thus, genetic testing is not necessary because they are not half-siblings. 

But it's not over yet. There are at least 20 other claimants to Prince's estate (estimated to be worth hundreds of millions and growing by the day), including more claimed half-siblings as well as individuals claiming to be Prince's secret children or adopted children. At least one self-proclaimed son, a federal prison inmate named Carlin Q. Williams, has already been tested and ruled out. 

The status of the daughter and teen granddaughter of another claimed half-sibling, Duane Nelson Sr., who died in 2011, is unclear so far. In the affidavits filed by the Nelson half-siblings, they argue that Duane Nelson Sr. was ruled out as John Nelson's son at the time that John died in 2001 and his estate was settled in 2002. 

Plus, there is a group of seven individuals who claim to be potential heirs to Prince because they are descended from the sister of Prince's great-grandfather. But under Minnesota law, they may be too distant relatives to be eligible to inherit. 

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
AdChoices
AdChoices

More From USA TODAY

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon