When he passed away of an accidental drug overdose in 2016, Prince left behind a closet-full of secrets: unreleased music, unedited videos and a collection of estranged family members desperate for his money.
At the time of his death, the singer was still at the peak of his fame and known to be worth millions from his string of successful albums, including the infamous Purple Rain. Due to this, it didn’t take long for alleged family members and fake children to come forward, demanding a chunk of the late icon’s hefty fortune.
Now, REELZ’s new docuseries, Prince: Cashed Out, is giving viewers a look back at the legal war involving Prince’s estate, and the drama that took place following his sudden demise.
“There was lots of DNA testing I think at that point, and it looked like the money would all disappear to lawyers and the only people who would benefit would be lawyers,” explains celebrity journalist Annette Witheridge in the show teaser.
“What Prince’s biggest concern is… having his music distributed in a way that he is not in charge of,” adds celebrity legal news expert Jill Stanley.
People had a hard time figuring out who was actually related to the star and who was an impostor. Plus, who would be getting his most prized possession: the vault?
“For many, many years when people referred to the vault, what they meant was that closet, a stock pile of material that he would just save of unreleased video and audio material,” says Michael Pagnotta, Prince’s former publicist.
“Apparently there are hours and hours and hours, you know, thousands of hours, of music that he never released, or were in various stages of completion,” says radio host Alan Cross.
“The thing about the vault material is most of it probably is not stuff that Prince would’ve wanted out,” adds Pagnotta.
Prince: Cashed Out airs Wednesday, December 12 at 9 ET/PT on REELZ.