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Prince's estate faces new lawsuit, following internal dispute

An agreement made in 2022 is now under threat, surrounding the legal rights of the late artist’s $156 million estate

  • 16 January 2024
Prince's estate faces new lawsuit, following internal dispute

Prince’s estate is facing another internal lawsuit, as heirs attempt to remove the advisors to the musicians assets.

In 2022, a years-long lawsuit saw the family of Prince reach an agreement over the division of his $156 million (£122 million) estate.

Prince died in 2016 aged 57-years-old without a will, spouse or children — therefore the entirety of his estate was passed onto his six half-siblings.

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The division of his estate was agreed in court and resulted in a 50-50 split. One-half of those inheriting sold their shares to the company Primary Wave which bought the rights to Prince’s back catalogue in 2021.

The other three half-siblings kept their shares and used longtime Prince advisors L Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer to manage them, forming the holding company Prince Legacy LLC.

On Monday, according to Billboard, McMillan and Spicer filed a new lawsuit over an alleged that four of Prince’s family members had been improperly trying to force them out of the company.

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As reported by Billboard, McMillan and Spicer claim that by doing so this violates the estate business agreement and would cause massive damage to efforts “to preserve and protect Prince’s legacy.”

This new lawsuit from McMillan and Spicer targets Prince’s half-sisters Sharon Nelson and Norrine Nelson, his niece Breanna Nelson and his nephew Allen Nelson.

“The Individual defendants lack any business and management experience, have no experience in the music and entertainment industries, and have no experience negotiating and managing high-level deals in the entertainment industry,” McMillan and Spicer wrote, according to Billboard.

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The complaint continues: “They have a documented history of infighting. Based on the amount and complexity of the work that Prince Legacy is involved with, they are simply not capable of stepping in and managing its business.”

It adds that if Sharon and Norrine “install themselves” and oust McMillan and Spicer, the lawsuit claims that “their interference and intervention will make it impossible to carry on the business of Prince Legacy and will cause irreparable harm to the Company’s good will, existing relationships, and revenue streams.”

An attorney for Norrine, Breanna and Allen Nelson has declined to comment, after being contacted by Billboard.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

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