Prince: Inmate at maximum security jail says he is musician's son and sole heir to $500m estate

Lawyers for Carlin Williams have requested that DNA testing be performed

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 12 May 2016 13:24 BST
Williams is currently being held in a maximum security facility
Williams is currently being held in a maximum security facility (Missouri Department of Corrections)

An inmate being held at a maximum security prison has claimed that he is Prince’s son and the sole heir to his estate estimated to be valued at more than $500m.

Carlin Williams, who has a lengthy prison record and convictions for dealing crack cocaine and beating a woman with a hot curling iron, has filed a petition claiming that his mother had unprotected sex with the star in a Kansas hotel room in 1976.

The petition filed by lawyers for Williams, sought a hearing on the issue of probate regarding Prince’s estate and a court order for DNA testing to be performed to settle the issue. The musician’s sister, Tyka Nelson, has claimed that her brother left behind no will and no surviving offspring.


Reuters said that the petition was accompanied by a sworn affidavit filed by a Missouri woman, Marsha Henson, who claims she is Williams' mother and he was sired by Prince during a tryst she had with the singer.

Ms Henson stated 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, who is currently being held in a maximum security jail in Colorado, was sentenced in May 2014 to seven-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm, court records show.

According to a sentencing memorandum filed by his lawyers in that case, Williams previously was twice convicted on drug charges and for resisting arrest.

Williams claims his mother slept with Prince in 1976
Williams claims his mother slept with Prince in 1976 (Facebook)

The memorandum stated he had limited guidance as a child, and was primarily raised by his grandmother. It also said Williams had seven half siblings, none of whom share a father with him, adding: “His father had no presence at all in his life.”

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, royalties and sales from more than 30 albums he produced, has been estimated at more than $500m.

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 studio complex in Minnesota where he died.

A judge last week authorised the estate administrator, Bremer Trust, to obtain a sample of Prince’s blood from the coroner for genetic analysis as necessary.

John Hilbert, the founder of Heir Hunters, said he was working with another person who claimed to be Prince's heir. "We have retained counsel in Minneapolis and sent a file to them," he told The Independent.

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