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Prince Estate Drama: Potential Heirs Protest Proposed DNA Testing

Musician’s possible niece and great-niece file objection in court

A month after the death of music legend Prince, the controversy over his estate continues to grow.

In court papers filed Monday, two potential heirs to the singer’s fortune filed papers protesting the administrator of the estate’s plan to DNA test the possible relatives of the musician.

An objection filed by Brianna Nelson, who claims to be Prince’s niece — and a minor identified only as V.N., who claims to be the musician’s great-niece, takes exception to the “complete and unfettered discretion” that Bremer National Trust would have in determining testing for those claiming to be relatives of the “Purple Rain” musician.

A proposed order currently awaiting approval lays out the conditions for testing that Bremer had previously requested of the court. In short, claimants must provide an affidavit “setting forth the facts that establish the reasonable possibility” that they are relatives of the singer. After which, Bremer “shall develop a plan or protocol for testing, after considering the positions of the parties claiming a genetic relationship.”

Claimants will also have to fork over for the cost of their genetic testing.

But Monday’s objection asserts, “An Order of the Court requiring parties to submit to genetic testing must exempt those individuals for whom there is a presumption of paternity under the Parentage Act.”

In papers filed in federal court in Minnesota last week, Brianna Nelson claims to be the daughter of Duane Nelson Sr., Prince’s reported bodyguard and half-brother.

Duane Nelson Sr., who was not among a list of siblings and half-siblings filed by Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson following the singer’s death, shares the same father as the deceased singer.

However, court papers note that Tyka did identify herself as Duane Nelson Sr.’s sister in a statement following his 2011 death.

An affidavit was also filed last week by a woman, Jeannine Halloran, who claims to be the mother of a 11-year-old, who she claims is the daughter of Duane Nelson Jr. The minor is identified only as V.N.

According to the papers, Duane Nelson Jr., who died in 2004, was the son of Duane Nelson Sr., which would thus make her Prince’s grand-niece.

Papers filed by Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson indicate that the musician died without a will, though author and filmmaker Ian Halperin, who’s currently collaborating on a documentary about the final hours of Prince’s life, told TheWrap that the people he’s spoken to insist that there is a will. One theory holds that the document could be in Canada, where the singer had a home.

Prince died on April 21, days after he reportedly was treated for an overdose of the opioid painkiller Percocet. He was found unresponsive in the elevator of his Paisley Park home in Minnesota, and responders were unable to revive him.

The results of an April 22 autopsy are still pending. Bremer has secured a sample of the singer’s blood to test for possible parentage issues. The singer had no known living children at the time of his death.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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