A Colorado prison inmate has filed a paternity claim with a Minnesota court against the estate of Prince, the latest claimant in what could grow into a long line of people asserting they're entitled to a piece of the musician's fortune.
Carlin Q. Williams, of Kansas City, Missouri, is seeking DNA testing to determine if Prince is his biological father, according to papers filed in Carver County District Court in the Minneapolis suburb of Chaska that were released Tuesday. In an accompanying affidavit, Williams' mother, Marsha Henson, contends she conceived Williams while having sex with Prince at a Kansas City, Missouri, hotel in July 1976.
Lawyers overseeing his estate have told the court that no will for Prince has been found, though they were still searching. Under Minnesota law, children are first in line to inherit when someone dies without a will, which would put Williams ahead of Prince's siblings if the court agrees he is Prince's son. Papers filed earlier by Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, said he had no known children and listed her and five half-siblings as Prince's only known heirs.
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The judge overseeing the estate case on Friday authorized genetic testing on a sample of Prince's blood in case it's necessary to determine who's entitled to share in his estate, and gave creditors four months to file claims. Already, a Kansas City woman who says she's Prince's half-sister has come forward, as well as a California man who contends Prince gave him control over his music catalog and vault via a verbal agreement in the mid-1990s.
The experience of other celebrity estate cases suggests more claims against Prince's estate are likely, and they may not all be legitimate. The court overseeing Michael Jackson's estate case rejected more than $50 million worth of dubious claims.
Prince died April 21 at his home in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen. The cause remains under investigation.
"All were asking is the truth in this matter. It's an unfortunate circumstance," said Williams' attorney, Patrick Cousins, of West Palm Beach, Florida, who also confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that his client is currently imprisoned.
In her affidavit, Henson said she met Prince in the lobby of a Kansas City hotel and that they had wine and later had unprotected sex at a different hotel, at which time she got pregnant. She said she wasn't married at the time and that she hadn't had sex with anyone in the prior six weeks and didn't have sex with anyone else until after she gave birth to Williams.
Court and prison records show Williams is being held at the maximum security federal prison in Florence, Colorado, after pleading guilty in 2013 to unlawfully transporting a firearm. He was sentenced to seven years and eight months.
Henson declined to comment, and Nelson's attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It wasn't immediately clear when the court might rule. No new hearings are scheduled in the estate case.
Cousins, who represented Prince in the mid-2000s, said they would have preferred to resolve the paternity question "behind closed doors" but the high profile of the estate case made that difficult. Williams has long asserted that he's Prince's son, the attorney said.