First Official Paternity Claim Filed With Court After Prince’s Death

(Photo: Jordan Strauss, WireImage for NPG Records 2011)
(Photo: Jordan Strauss, WireImage for NPG Records 2011)

Here’s the latest on the investigation into the singer’s death, his estate and tributes:

12:04 p.m. ET:  Prince’s estate has received its first official paternity claim, from one Carlin Q. Williams, who is currently serving time in a federal prison for transporting weapons.

The court and special administrator saw such cases coming: On Friday, Carver County Judge Kevin Eide authorized Bremer Trust to run the necessary genetic testing on a blood sample taken from Prince to compare against that of persons claiming to be his heirs.

In an affidavit dated Monday, which turned up in the probate court’s document log on Tuesday, Williams’ mother, Marsha Henson, says she met Prince in Kansas City, Mo., in July 1976 and conceived her son, born April 8, 1977.

“I allege that Prince Rogers Nelson, ‘Mr. Nelson,’ is the father of my son, Carlin Q. Williams,” Henson wrote in her affidavit. She said she was unmarried at the time she allegedly met Prince and did not have sex with anyone else six weeks before or after.

Williams’ attorneys, Florida lawyer Patrick Cousins, and Minneapolis lawyer Paul Shoemaker, also filed an objection to the probate of Prince’s estate proceeding because Williams claims to be the “sole surviving legal heir” of Prince, thus making his sister Tyka Nelson and at least five named half-siblings irrelevant.

Who is Carlin Q. Williams? He’s a rapper with a Kansas City address who styles himself “Carlin Q. Williams (Prince of Darkness) Son of Prince.”

But currently, he’s in a federal prison in Colorado serving time for weapons charges, according to federal court documents, although that wasn’t mentioned in his mother’s affidavit nor in his lawyers’ documents.

Williams was indicted in Kansas City in April 2013, pleaded guilty to one count in October 2013 and was sentenced in May 2014 to 92 months in prison, with three years of supervised release after that, according to the federal court record of his case.

Cousins, who declined to discuss how Williams became his client, told USA TODAY Williams’ current address is irrelevant. He said he doesn’t know when Williams is scheduled to be released from prison, nor does he know the procedure for arranging for taking a DNA sample from a federal inmate.

“If you’re an heir you’re an heir, wherever you are,” he said. He said he expects the judge, the probate court and the estate administrator to help arrange the DNA testing.

Williams may be the first alleged Prince child to come forward publicly but he likely won’t be the last; various “heir hunters” have fielded hundreds of calls and emails from people who claim to be related to Prince or that Prince was their father, and at least some of the claims are being examined by these firms.

But so far, no one other than Williams has come forward to file documents in the probate court.

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