According to the Associated Press, Sharon and Norrine Nelson, Prince’s half-sisters, have threatened legal action against Comerica Bank & Trust, the administrator of the Prince estate, unless the recordings are returned to Minnesota.
The vault, located in Paisley Park, housed Prince’s most obsessed-over assets: a trove of unheard music, some of which dates back to his commercial peak in the ‘80s.
Sharon Nelson told AP that she only recently learned that Comerica had removed the tapes and claims that neither she nor her sister were notified, as required by judicial order.
“It’s just as though Prince passed away again,” Nelson told AP. “That’s how I felt. I was really devastated by that.”
In a statement, Comerica, which a Carver County court entrusted with the administration of Prince’s estate earlier this year, disputes the Nelsons’ account, saying all heirs were duly informed of the transfer.
The bank also said it had reviewed the storage conditions at Paisley Park and determined that the tapes could be stored more safely, and digitized more effectively, at Iron Mountain Entertainment Services in California.
Prince’s six recognized heirs – his sister Tyka and his five half-siblings – have essentially divided into two camps that have been frequently at odds with one another over how the estate should be administered.
If the Nelsons challenge Comerica’s decision, the legal wranglings could further delay the release of any music from the vault, extending a probate case that has already dragged on for more than a year and a half.
None of the announced candidates in the 2018 Minnesota governor’s race have yet commented on this development.