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Prince's potential heirs narrowed down to six

Published 29/07/2016

Prince's estate is thought to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars (AP)
Prince's estate is thought to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars (AP)

A judge overseeing Prince's estate has narrowed down the pool of potential heirs for the late superstar's fortune, ruling out nearly 30 claimants while ordering genetic testing for six purported family members.

Carver County Judge Kevin Eide's order requires genetic testing for Prince's sister, Tyka Nelson, plus three half-siblings: Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson and John Nelson.

He also ordered testing for Brianna Nelson, who has claimed to be Prince's niece, and possible grand-niece Victoria Nelson. The pair claimed Brianna Nelson's father was Prince's half-brother.

It is unclear why the judge did not order testing for Omar Baker or Alfred Jackson, two men who were listed as half-brothers in the original petition for the court to name a special administrator to the estate.

Prince died of a drug overdose on April 21. The process of determining his heirs and parcelling out his estate has fallen to the courts because he had no known children and left no will.

A DNA test has already ruled out a Colorado prison inmate who claimed to be Prince's son.

Barring any others who could come forward claiming ties, Judge Eide's order drastically limits who may benefit from Prince's fortunes - an estimated 300 million US dollars (£226 million) or more - or gain control of his legacy.

Among those excluded from potential heirship in the order are five unidentified people with shaky claims that Prince was their biological father.

This includes one woman who said she was adopted and claimed Prince was her father "based upon the general description of the lifestyle of her biological parents, her fascination with the Decedent and physical similarities".

The order also tosses out a handful of claimants who alleged that Prince's father was someone other than John L. Nelson, who is listed in court records as Prince's father.

Among those claimants was Venita Jackson Leverette, whose lawyer James Selmer called the judge's decision "a travesty" and said he is considering an appeal.

Mr Selmer opined that his client would be banned from undergoing testing while a man serving an eight-year prison sentence in Colorado was given a DNA test.

"The better course would be to allow people that have a plausible connection to him to have a blood test," he said.

AP

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