THE LATE Aretha Franklin is renowned for her unstoppable talent, chart-topping songs, and smashing the world of soul.
Yet her family are now hitting the headlines for a very different reason – they are locked in a bitter war battling over her will, after the discovery of four explosive handwritten notes supposedly dividing her estate between her sons.
Who is Edward Jordan?
Edward Jordan is the father of two of Franklin’s sons.
At age 12, the music legend gave birth to her first child, Clarence, in 1955.
She originally claimed the father was a schoolmate, yet in the wills she reportedly had handwritten, she refers to Edward Sr. as his father.
Two years after Clarence’s arrival, Aretha had another son at age 14.
The child was named after his father, Edward.
Little is known about Jordan and the role he played in his children’s lives, as Aretha’s grandmother, Rachel, and her sister, Erma, took the toddlers on as her success soared.
Jordan was described as a “player” who Franklin once knew in David Ritz’s 2014 biography, ‘Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin’.
She then had two more sons as a result of other relationships.
After her death on August 16, 2018, her family released a statement that read, “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart.
“We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
What has Aretha Franklin said about Edward Jordan?
When Aretha passed away from pancreatic cancer, her family believed she had never filed a will.
As a result, her estate was expected to be divided between her four surviving sons, and be executed by her niece and confidant, Sabrina Owens.
Yet in 2019, three handwritten wills were found in the stars Detroit home under sofa cushions and in a locked cabinet.
A fourth potential will has also recently been discovered, which again was supposedly written by Franklin.
In the notes, Franklin outlined her post humous wishes and how she wanted her sons to be looked after.
She explicitly stated that her eldest son Clarence, who has undisclosed special needs, must be cared for and listed “special provisions” for the now 66-year-old.
Yet the soul superstar also took the opportunity to take a swipe at his father, Edward Sr.
On page 6 of the lengthy 16-page document, she unambigously declared Edward Sr. should have no claim to any stake in her estate.
The note reads, “His father, Edward Jordan Sr., should never receive or handle any money or property belonging to Clarence or that Clarence receives as he has never made any contribution to his welfare, future or past, monetarily, material, spiritual, etc, except $5 or $10 when he was a child.”
Both uses of the word “never” were underlined for emphasis.
The division of Franklin’s estate, which has an estimated value of up to $80m, will now be debated in court as moderators try and authenticate the document.
A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for June 12.