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Monday, May 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Fight Over Gil Scott-Heron’s Estate

MANHATTAN (CN) - Gil Scott-Heron's son claims the late musician's ex-wife and her daughter and mother stole $250,000 from the estate, in a complaint in New York County Court.

Scott-Heron is best known for the song, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," from his 1971 album "Pieces of a Man."

According to the complaint, his only son, Rumal Rackley, became temporary administrator of his estate after he died on May 27, 2011.

Rackley claims that three generations of women from the family of Gil Scott Heron's ex-wife, Brenda Sykes, conspired to raid two of his business accounts in the weeks after he died.

Brenda Sykes lives in Los Angeles with her daughter, Gia Scott-Heron, and her mother, Elvira Sykes, who had limited power of attorney over Gil Scott-Heron's property, according to the complaint.

Weeks after the musician died, Elvira Sykes abused that power to change two of Gil Scott-Heron's New York-based Chase bank business accounts to their Los Angeles address, Rackley claims.

Those accounts collected the musician's royalties, according to the complaint.

Rackley claims that the women transferred more than $185,000 from these accounts to a bogus account they opened in Gil Scott-Heron's name after he died, using a forged signature.

"Upon information and belief, defendants have unlawfully and without authorization withdrawn in excess of $250,OOO from these accounts since decedent's death," the complaint states.

Rackley claims the women also took $60,000 out of Scott-Heron's personal account.

Rackley seeks the $250,000, plus $1 million in punitive damages from the women and from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

He is represented by Thomas S. Howard, with Kirsch Gartenberg Howard.

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