Prince’s Former Business Advisors Win Key Ruling in Ongoing Estate Lawsuit

Prince’s former business advisors L. Londell McMillan and Charles Spicer Jr. have won a key ruling in their ongoing estate lawsuit against several of the late artist’s heirs, reports Billboard. McMillan and Spicer are currently managers of Prince Legacy LLC, the estate management holding company they co-created with several of Prince’s legal heirs, but several of those family members—Prince’s half-sisters Sharon and Norrine Nelson, plus his niece and nephew Breanna and Allen Nelson—allegedly attempted to oust them from the company. On July 5, a Delaware judge ruled that those four family members could not amend the LLC agreement to remove McMillan and Spicer because it breaks the terms of the agreement.

“The LLC agreement is unambiguous and [McMillan and Spicer]’s interpretation is the only reasonable one,” Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick wrote in the decision, which Pitchfork has viewed. “Plaintiffs here allege that Defendants breached the LLC Agreement by purporting to remove the Managing Members and amend the LLC Agreement. As stated in the above analysis, that allegation is adequately alleged. Plaintiffs have stated a claim for breach of contract.”

In a statement to Pitchfork, McMillan said he and Spicer were “pleased” with the new ruling in this lawsuit, as was Johnny Nicholas Nelson Torres, another Prince relative who “strongly opposes” Nelson’s actions and joined their lawsuit as a plaintiff. “I have protected Prince and been his partner for decades. Nothing will change our history and my loyalty to him and his legacy,” said McMillan. “We are pleased with the Judge’s decision and wish we were not forced to take legal action for the wrongdoing of the Defendants (and their advisors) yet we have a heavy responsibility to preserve and protect Prince’s legacy and all he created, by any and all appropriate means necessary.”

An attorney for Sharon Nelson and the other defendants did not immediately return a request for comment to Pitchfork.

As previously reported, and reiterated in the court documents, six of Prince’s siblings inherited equal interests in his estate, with three of them assigning their combined 50% interest to Prince Legacy LLC. As Prince’s former business advisors, McMillan and Spicer assisted some of those heirs in the probate process and, in return, were each compensated with a 10% interest in Prince Legacy and “broad and exclusive management authority” as Managing Members of the LLC. “One of the heirs, Sharon Nelson, came to regret this decision and inserted herself into management decisions—by demanding, for example, that the entire staff of the Paisley Park Museum be replaced,” reads the decision. “When McMillan and Spicer did not acquiesce to her demands, Sharon led the defendants’ efforts to remove McMillan and Spicer as Managing Members by amending the LLC 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 not only have the Nelsons sought to change bylaws to remove the two advisors, but to also sell their shares to a third party without unanimous consent from Prince Legacy’s membership.

Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016. At the time, he did not have a written will – leading to a six-year-long legal battle in Minnesota probate court over the division of his estate and assets. When that case concluded in August 2022, the estate was split into two companies: Prince Legacy and Primary Wave.

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