It’s been a little more than a week since John Singleton died, but there was already a battle brewing over his fortune. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker and father of seven left a will that was from 1993 when he only had one child. Now the siblings were reportedly preparing for a battle in court.
Sheila Ward, Singleton’s mother who also handled all of her son’s business affairs, reportedly filed the 1993 will in court. TMZ reported that “she listed his assets at around $3.8 mil. That means more than $31 million is unaccounted for.” Singleton’s estate was estimated to be worth $35 million. It is possible Singleton had a trust for his kids, which would mean they wouldn’t have to go through a will. As it stands now, under law all of the money would go to his firstborn, Justice.
However, another of Singleton’s kids, Cleopatra, reportedly accused Ward of trying to block the children from the estate. TMZ also reported that if Singleton “had died without a will, Sheila would get nothing from his reported $35 million estate, because under California law the assets would be divided equally among his 7 children. But, since there’s a will, John decides who gets what, and who gets nothing. Given the business relationship between John and Sheila, it’s a safe bet she’s the executor of the will, which surely would not please Cleopatra.”
Cleopatra filed a motion to block her grandmother’s proposed conservatorship and claimed Ward was trying to liquidate all of John’s assets and freeze out his children. TMZ also reported “the kids could file a separate lawsuit if they have beef over the trust or whatever John created to dispose of the $31 mil. A legal fight may not just pit grandma against grandkids … it could also pit some of the kids against the others.”
Singleton was hospitalized last month after he suffered a stroke. The family decided to take the 51-year-old off life support on April 17, when he died.
Singleton was reportedly experiencing weakness in his leg after flying back from Costa Rica before he suffered his stroke. The long flight may have triggered the medical emergency.
Singleton is known for films like 1991’s “Boyz n the Hood,” which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. He was the youngest filmmaker to be nominated in those categories. He was also the first African-American to be nominated for Best Director.
Rest in power, John Singleton.