*Nina Simone’s daughter has filed a $155 million lawsuit against her father, claiming that he improperly obtained and transferred ownership of numerous items belonging to the singing icon, including master recordings, personal writings, diaries, letters, photos and other personal possessions.
Lisa Simone Kelly, the administrator for Simone’s estate, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Northern California on Friday against Andrew B. Stroud, as well as his associate Wally Roker, to whom Stroud allegedly transferred Simone memorabilia, reports Reuters.
Stroud, who was married to Simone from 1961-71, also served as the singer’s manager, agent and producer. Simone died in 2003, at the age of 70.
In the suit, Kelly claims that Stroud transferred possession of the material to Roker at no cost in October, as part of “an ongoing shell game” to keep the items from Simone’s estate — the rightful owner, according to the suit.
The latest complaint is the newest installment in a protracted legal battle between Kelly and Stroud that began in 2008. A counter claim filed by Stroud against Kelly was dismissed in October — after which, according to Kelly’s suit, the transfer to Roker occurred as part of a “sham transaction” to prevent the estate from reclaiming the items.
The suit seeks a full accounting of the items in question, plus any proceeds, and all transfers and deposits involved in the defendants’ bank accounts, plus a restraining order preventing Stroud and Roker from selling or otherwise financially profiting from the items in question.
The suit also seeks $155 million in compensatory damages — the amount that Stroud appraised the items at, according to the suit — plus court costs, attorneys’ fees and interest.