All eyes are on a Petition filed in the Superior Court of The State of California by Tupac’s only sister, Sekyiwa ‘Set” Shakur. Several media reports have already confirmed this lawsuit, which involves a dispute over the duties, control, finances, and rights related to the Shakur family’s estate, which comprises most of Tupac’s music and other cherished assets.
In the lawsuit filed this week, on Monday, January 10, Set Shakur (a/k/a “Set”) and The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (“TASF”) has sued the family estate’s executor and Trustee, Tom Whalley, for allegedly violating his duties, including failure to provide “compliant” accountings required under the Trust, failure to provide Set and the Foundation with an inventory of estate assets, violating the wishes of Afeni Shakur, misappropriating estate assets, converting and withholding personal assets Set claims to belong to her (not under the control of the Trustee), and creating a “conflict of interest” by serving as Executor and Trustee while also placing himself as the sole manager of Amaru Entertainment (the music and entertainment company that operates all of Tupac’s music and intellectual property). When Tupac died in 1996, his mother, Afeni Shakur, was named the beneficiary of the estate and fought tirelessly to acquire all of his music rights and assets to benefit her family and preserve Tupac’s legacy. When Afeni passed away in 2016, Whalley was named the beneficiary of the estate.
The Petition alleges that “Whalley has already received more than $5.5 million that he has paid himself in the last five years through Amaru…[and] he has effectively embezzled millions of dollars for his own benefit well in excess of what would be reasonably necessary to retrain a property qualified third-party to perform such services.”
In the Petition, Set alleges that Whalley has refused to give up property that was inherited by their mother Afeni, including Tupac’s cars, jewelry, his RIAA certified gold plaques, Tupac’s artwork and sculptures, items of Tupac’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, and furniture taken from his homes.
The TASF Foundation, reportedly an additional beneficiary of the Trust, is a party to the lawsuit due to the community service work it provides coming from the funds it receives from the Trust and Estate.
Set and the TASF Foundation have assembled an all-star lineup of attorneys, including prominent attorneys L. Londell McMillan, who represented Prince, Michael Jackson, and Prodigy of Mobb Deep before their untimely deaths (and represented their families following their deaths), and Donald David, who formerly represented Afeni Shakur in a number of her legal cases including her lawsuit against Death Row.
In a statement to The Source, McMillan stated: “Set and the Foundation deserve the care, accountings, property, funds, and trust that Afeni expressly required and bequeathed, as well as the respect Tupac’s legacy and family deserves. That’s a fact.”
Howard King, an attorney for the executor, denies the allegations raised by Set and TASF, describing Whalley as a “long time friend and confidant” of Tupac and his mother. King states that “these legal claims are disappointing and detrimental to all beneficiaries of the trust. We are confident the Court will promptly conclude that Tom has always acted in the best interests of Amaru, the trust, and all beneficiaries.”
The suit requests that Whalley be ordered to “recompense” the estate in a minimum amount of $4 million and provide a full accounting in connection with his role as executor of the Shakur estate.
A hearing on the Petition has been scheduled for March 21, 2022, and TheSource.com will update the story as further details become available. Attorney McMillan is also the owner of The NorthStar Source Group, the parent company of The Source.