The two heirs expected to receive a significant share of Prince’s massive estate are seeking at least $7 million more from a botched tribute concert in October.
In a court document filed Wednesday, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson and his half-brother Omarr Baker accused Bremer Trust and well-known entertainment lawyers L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman of mismanaging the star-studded concert and refusing to turn over profits.
In an estate court hearing several weeks ago, an attorney for Nelson accidentally mentioned a confidential figure of $7 million that was supposed to be a guaranteed payment to the estate from concert proceeds.
The dollar figure that the estate did get from the concert was redacted, as was the amount they expected to get.
Nearly 100 musicians, including Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan, performed at the five-hour concert at Xcel Center in St. Paul. The concert originally was planned for the much larger U.S. Bank Stadium, and many artists dropped out along the way.
Bremer Trust, McMillan and Koppelman didn’t return telephone calls for comment Wednesday.
Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at Paisley Park studio on April 21. During court hearings in January, attorneys for Bremer Trust and the six relatives expected to be heirs said the Prince estate is the most complex in Minnesota history. No will has been found, and Carver County District Court has received more than one thousand filings in his case.
Earlier in January, Bremer Trust was discharged as special administrator of Prince’s estate, which is conservatively estimated at nearly $300 million. Bremer Trust was replaced by Comerica Bank & Trust. McMillan and CNN commentator Van Jones, each with the backing of certain family members, applied to be co-executor of the estate with Comerica, but Judge Kevin Eide rejected both men.
Ongoing issues in Prince’s estate also were detailed in another court filing Wednesday from attorney Laura Halferty, whose firm provided legal services and advice for Bremer Trust. She asked the court to approve payment of nearly $1.6 million in fees for work done from October to December. Five other law firms also asked for fee payments totally nearly $400,000.
The fees were reasonable because of the time and labor required, Halferty argued. Her firm’s work included negotiating entertainment deals and legal issues related to the Paisley Park Museum, licensing, intellectual property and real estate.
Nelson and Baker are asking Eide to delay Bremer Trust’s discharge until Bremer can give a more complete accounting of Prince’s estate. Most of the items listed in the accounting report said “valuation in process.”
“For an estate that involves highly complex entertainment deals and substantial music holdings, this is insufficient,” the court document said.
The filing said that Bremer Trust breached its fiduciary duty by mismanaging the tribute concert and failing to fire McMillan and Koppelman when the original concert plans were falling apart. Jobu Presents backed out of the concert, but still paid McMillan a consulting commission, the document said.
After Bremer “bungled” the tribute concert deal and McMillan took estate assets before and after the concert, Bremer claimed they weren’t a party to any of the concert contracts, the document said.
Jobu said that McMillan and Koppelman failed to secure promised talent. When Jobu Presents backed out, McMillan stepped in and promoted the concert himself.
The court document said Bremer should have terminated McMillan and Koppelman for their “misrepresentations” or at least reigned them and exercised more control.
“To date, we have no clear way of knowing who profited from ticket sales, parking, television rights, radio/streaming rights, merchandising, concessions, etc. of the concert,” the document said. “Mr. McMillan profited greatly from the sold-out concert and the after party from the use and exploitation of estate assets.”