An aspiring rapper and gun-running felon in federal prison, who has a history of violence against women, could be the sole heir to Prince’s fortune.
Carlin Q. Williams, 39, who is serving time in a high-security Florence, Colorado clink, filed a paternity claim against the “Purple Rain” superstar’s estate Monday.
Williams’s mother, Marsha Henson, claims she had sex with Prince at a Kansas City, Missouri, hotel in July 1976, court records show. Williams, whose hip-hop moniker is Prince Dracula, was born April 8, 1977.
“All we’re asking is the truth in this matter. It’s an unfortunate circumstance,” Williams’s attorney, Patrick Cousins, told the Associated Press. The legal eagle, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, represented Prince on trademark issues in the mid-2000s.
Bruce Lewis, a representative for Cousins, told The Daily Beast that Williams contacted the law firm from federal prison years ago and claimed he was Prince’s heir. Cousins, however, “blew it off at the time,” Lewis said.
Indeed, the Kansas City rapper has long insisted he was Prince’s son. On Facebook, a profile belonging to Carlin Qar-Tune Williams states he’s the “son of (Prince) Rogers Nelson ‘aka’purple rain man from Mn.” Williams, according to Facebook posts, has a son named “Cartoon Williams.”
Meanwhile, in a September 2015 post, Williams posted images of a child—along with one black-and-white professional image of Prince—with the words “My Family And My Dad.”
The profile appears to have been taken down as of Tuesday afternoon. Multiple attempts to reach Marsha Henson and several members of the Williams family were unsuccessful.
The convict is part of a cavalcade of potential heirs to Prince’s riches. As The Daily Beast previously reported, kooky psychic mediums, jailbirds, and cons have come forward to say they’re related to the artist, who was found dead in his Paisley Park home at age 57, apparently without leaving a will, or “intestate.”
Days after Prince died on April 21, his sister Tyka Nelson filed an emergency petition to appoint a special administrator to oversee the rock star’s estate. Her filing stated Prince had no living children and also listed half-siblings, who under Minnesota law are equally entitled to his wealth.
If DNA testing confirms that Williams is Prince’s son, he would inherit the music legend’s vault of unreleased music and $300 million estate. Under Minnesota law, children are first to inherit when someone dies without a will.
If Prince died without a will and a child survivor is positively identified, that would leave Tyka Nelson and Prince’s five other half-siblings out in the cold. The twice-divorced icon was not married at the time of his death.
According to Henson’s affidavit, she met Prince in the lobby of one hotel before they had wine and unprotected sex at another hotel.
Henson, who was unmarried at the time, claims in court filings that she hadn’t had sex with anyone in the six weeks prior to Prince and that she hadn’t had intercourse until after Williams was born, the AP reported.
Court records paint a vivid picture of Williams’s troubled past: his rap sheet includes convictions for domestic violence, drug possession and distribution, and unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was charged with driving on a suspended license, fleeing law enforcement, and possession of a stolen vehicle in multiple separate incidences.
Six years ago, Williams—who was convicted of charges stemming from at least two incidences of domestic violence—forced his way into a woman’s home, pushed her to the ground, and assaulted her with a hot curling iron. A year later, according to court documents examined by The Daily Beast, he dragged his then-girlfriend “up several stairs, held her captive and then chased her down the street with a knife threatening to kill her.”
In April 2013, Williams was federally indicted for transporting a Walther PP .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol in interstate commerce—for which he pleaded guilty eight months later, court records show. He is due to be released from prison in 2020.
Williams has “7 half siblings,” according to pre-sentencing documents filed by his defense attorney in 2014, and “none share a father with him.” The aspiring rap artist dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and “his father had no presence at all in his life.”
Prosecutors in the case called him “violent and dangerous,” saying he was a “significant threat to commit crimes in the future.”
It’s unclear how Williams found Prince’s former civil attorney or when the first contact was made.
When reached by phone on Tuesday, Cousins told The Daily Beast, “I definitely didn’t reach out to Carlin [Williams]. As busy as I was, as busy as I am now, I wasn’t sitting around calling people to figure out if they were related to Prince or not.”
He referred press queries to Lewis, who said “nothing became of” Williams’s first attempt at getting in touch with Prince years ago.
“We’re anxiously awaiting [the results of a DNA test] just like you are,” Lewis said.
Lewis said Williams’s stint in prison wouldn’t affect his potential inheritance.
“It doesn’t matter where you are,” he said. “If you’re somebody’s kid, you’re somebody’s kid.”