Two of the suits involving the late Tupac Shakur have been settled, or are close to it, according to one of the late rapper's estate lawyers.
New York attorney Donald David confirms that Skakur's biological father, a New Jersey truck driver named William Garland, is dropping his action seeking half of the late rapper's estate, settling instead for $540,000 plus legal fees totaling just over $350,000.
The case had previously been thrown out of court (see "Tupac's Deadbeat Dad Shut Out Of Estate"). Garland had appealed, but more importantly, says David, the settlement was to prevent Garland from profiting from his tenuous connection to his blood-only son, who was the product of a very brief fling with Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur. He had little contact with his son over the years.
"Under California law, regardless of what he did or didn't do," said David, "he might have a claim where he could sell things with
Tupac's name, and Afeni could not stand the idea that Garland would be exploiting Tupac's name. She just could not live with that."
The second case involves Jacquelyn McNealy, the 27-year-old Arkansas woman who had been struck by a stray bullet at a Shakur concert. She has tentatively agreed to a $2 million settlement.
McNealy had initially been awarded a default $16.6 million judgement in an Arkansas court last November, but that decision was overturned in California when it was ruled that the defense had not been allowed to present a case at the trial. (see "Tupac's Estate Given Reprieve From Paying Injured Fan"). Ms. McNealy, a paraplegic since the incident, had appealed that decision.
David told MTV News that they had the chance to settle the case economically and took that opportunity. "There's always at the very least a 5 percent chance that the other side might win," said David. "In this case, the
combination of the fact that they appealed and that the State would have to go through a hearing and possibly a trial, it just wasn't worthwhile if we could settle it for less than 10 percent of the original judgement."
Both deals are expected to be finalized November 4. David confirmed that the remaining estate, controlled by Afeni Shakur, is estimated at between $8 million and $10 million.