Tupac Shakur’s sister is suing the executor of their late mother’s estate, accusing him of having “embezzled millions” and refusing to hand over personal items with “tremendous sentimental value” that belonged to the hip-hop legend, including gold records.
In a lawsuit filed Monday (Jan 10) in Los Angeles court, Sekyiwa Shakur and The Tupac Shakur Foundation accused Tom Whalley of “blatant violations” of his duties as the executor of Afeni Shakur-Davis’s estate, including allegedly installing himself in a key management role despite a conflict of interest.
“He has effectively embezzled millions of dollars for his own benefit,” Sekyiwa wrote. “Whalley has unreasonably enriched himself at the expense of the beneficiaries and in bad faith by taking excessive compensation in a position from which he should properly be barred based on the inherent conflict of interest.”
Following Tupac’s widely-publicized shooting death in 1996, his mother Afeni was named as a beneficiary of his estate. When Afeni died in 2016, Whalley was then named as the executor of her estate.
According to Sekyiwa’s lawsuit, Whalley has committed a wide range of “malfeasance” in that role. Chief among his alleged misdeeds, she says he hired himself as the manager of Amaru Entertainment, the record label that released some of Tupac’s music and is “principal income-producing asset of the Trust.”
“Whalley has already received more than $5.5 million that he has paid himself in the last five years through Amaru,” Sekyiwa wrote.
He has also refused to release personal property held by the estate, she says, including items Afeni inherited from Tupac. She said that includes the late rapper’s cars, his jewelery, his artwork and even his “golden records.”
“It is clear that he has used and abused his powers as executor and special trustee of the estate and the trust to convert the personal property belonging to Sekyiwa as a piggy bank from which he has drawn substantial funds for his own benefit,” she wrote.
In a statement, an attorney for the trust strongly denied the allegations. Howard King, another well-known music litigator, said Whalley was a longtime “friend and confidant” of both Tupac and Afeni and had committed no wrongdoing. King specifically noted that Whalley had been appointed to manage Amaru by Afeni before her death, not after.
“These legal claims are disappointing and detrimental to all beneficiaries of the trust,” King said. “We are confident the court will promptly conclude that Tom has always acted in the best interests of Amaru, the trust, and all beneficiaries.”
Notably, Sekyiwa is represented in the lawsuit by L. Londell McMillan, a prominent music attorney who represented Prince before his death and has been heavily involved in the proceedings over that estate. She’s also repped by Donald David and Joshua R. Mandell, of the law firm Akerman.