Potential new Prince heir emerges

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New York (AFP)

A lawyer on Friday revealed a potential new heir to Prince's vast fortune -- the granddaughter of his late half-brother.

The pop legend died on April 21 with no will and no recognized children, with his sister and five half-siblings listed as heirs and a special administrator temporarily put in charge of his estate.

Another half-brother, Duane Nelson, had headed security for the singer before becoming estranged from Prince and dying in 2011, lawyer Michael Padden said in a letter to a judge handling the case.

Padden represented Duane Nelson's son, who has also died but, the lawyer said, had a daughter with a woman to whom he was not married in the town of Buffalo on the outskirts of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Padden said he was unable to reach the mother, whom he identified only as J.H., and said the daughter was a minor.

The lawyer said he felt "an ethical obligation to advise J.H. of the situation that her daughter could be a legitimate heir of an estate potentially valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars."

"Try as I might, I have had no direct contact with J.H. I also have no idea if she is aware that I have been attempting to reach her," the lawyer wrote.

He asked the judge to assign a guardian for legal matters for the potential heir unless J.H. finds a lawyer soon.

It is not the first new potential heir who has emerged since the death of Prince, whose Paisley Park estate outside Minneapolis also holds vaults full of unreleased material.

Earlier in the week a 39-year-old inmate came forward and said he was Prince's son, with his mother saying she had sex with Prince in 1976 in a Kansas City hotel.

Carlin Williams, who is in prison for gun possession in a stolen car, through a lawyer requested a DNA test to prove Prince was his father.

The website The Daily Beast reported that Williams was also an aspiring rapper who identified himself as Prince's son and had rhymed about killing the "Purple Rain" star.

Investigators are still determining a cause of death for Prince, 57, known for his musical virtuosity and high-energy performances. Doctors had been seeking to treat him for addiction to painkillers.