Minnesota State Legislature Launches ‘PRINCE Act’ to Prevent Exploitation as Missouri Man Claims to be Singer’s ‘Sole Heir’

Wikipedia Commons

Wikipedia Commons

After hundreds contacted death investigators claiming to be related to Prince, the Minnesota legislature introduced a new act protecting his image. Meanwhile, a Missouri man claims to be the Purple One’s sole heir.

On Monday, Republican state Rep. Joe Hoppe introduced the bill that was inspired by Prince’s recent death. It is designed to limit commercial use of a deceased person’s likeness and name. If the Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act — or PRINCE Act — is signed into law, it will be extended toward both the famous and non-celebrities.

According to the Minnesota House of Representatives’ official site, the law would also protect the deceased person’s voice and signature. This protection would be valid for 50 years after the individual’s passing, and it would affect deaths that happened before the bill’s signing as well.

The act’s first hearing is on May 10 with the state House Civil Law Committee. Then, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing May 11.

Hoppe’s proposed PRINCE Act comes on the heels of Atlanta Black Star reporting that 700 individuals believe they are related to the late singer. They have called genealogy investigator Harvey Morse’s office looking to submit their blood for testing against the singer, who died in April at age 57. But Morse said “99.99 percent of the claims we can discount from the first phone call.”

The Daily Mail reports Carlin Q. Williams, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, has filed a petition requesting such testing. He claims to be the “sole surviving legal heir” to Prince’s $300 million fortune. In court documents filed May 9, Marsha Henson – Williams’ mother – says she met Prince in July 1976 and they had unprotected sex at a Kansas City hotel. She added that she conceived and gave birth to Williams on April 8, 1977.

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