Prince’s Estate Is Facing Internal Upheaval, New Lawsuit Alleges

Prince’s family and legal heirs are attempting to oust their advisors
Prince in 2014
Prince, March 2014 (Kevin Mazur/WireImage for NPG Records 2013)

In 2022, the years-long legal untangling of Prince’s estate was resolved in court, resulting in a 50-50 split of the business. Some of Prince’s legal heirs sold their shares to Primary Wave Music, while others retained their stakes and partnered with advisors L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer to form the estate management holding company Prince Legacy LLC. On Monday, McMillan and Spicer filed a lawsuit in Delaware court that illustrates a new alleged upheaval between Prince’s family and their advisors, Billboard reports.

McMillan and Spicer are suing Prince’s half-sisters Sharon and Norrine Nelson, plus the late musician’s niece and nephew Breanna and Allen Nelson. The two advisors allege that the heirs are attempting to oust them from Prince Legacy, which they claim violates the business’ operating agreement.

The lawsuit also claims that both Sharon and Breanna Nelson attempted to sell their shares to Primary Wave, which would seemingly tip the balance of the Prince estate’s current 50-50 divide. McMillan and Spicer’s complaint alleges that the Nelsons have been seeking to change bylaws in an effort to remove the two advisors and make it possible to sell their shares to a third party without unanimous consent from Prince Legacy’s membership.

“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,” the complaint reads (per Billboard). “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.”

The complaint claims that divisions within Prince Legacy began after members of the family were denied the unanimous approval required to make staffing changes at Paisley Park or book the mansion for events. They also claim that Sharon Nelson made verbal legal threats in an effort to force McMillan and Spicer to step down. The two advisors are seeking an injunction to block any changes to the business’ bylaws.

Pitchfork has reached out to McMillan and Spicer’s lawyers for further comment. An attorney for Norrine, Breanna, and Allen declined to comment to Billboard, while an attorney for Sharon has yet to respond.