Whitney Houston died nearly broke, but with millions of dollars starting to pour into her estate, sources predict an ugly family feud will erupt.
“It’s sad to say, but Whitney is worth more dead than alive,” a close source said. “Her career had been in the toilet for years, but in the wake of her death her music is selling through the roof.”
Brand management expert Grant Cardone added: “Whitney’s ‘brand’ could be sold right now for $100 million. The buyer could then develop movies, plays, Cirque du Soleil-type shows and even a theme park using her name. In the end, Whitney could be a billion-dollar brand!”
Whitney – who died at age 48 on Feb. 11 in Los Angeles – once was worth more than $100 million, and blew most of it on drugs and high living. She’d recently been forced to ask friends for $100 handouts, according to reports.
But her death sent her music sales soaring, with her greatest hits album selling 64,000 copies in just one day and her song “I Will Always Love You” tallying 195,000 downloads on iTunes in just 36 hours.
That new fortune could slip through the fingers of Whitney’s only child, 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina, if other family members contest the estate.
“It’s unclear whether Whitney specified in her will that her earnings immediately transfer to her daughter,” said the source.
“If so, there’s concern that Bobbi Kristina’s own substance abuse problems could escalate out of control and offer unscrupulous drug dealers the opportunity to take her for every last cent.
“The will could also give some control to Whitney’s mom Cissy Houston until Bobbi Kristina reaches a certain age. In that case, the estate could be tied up in a trust. And if a long court battles ensues, there’s no doubt it would turn into an ugly family feud!”
Family members who could have their hands out include Whitney’s brother Michael Houston, her stepmother Barbara Houston and half siblings Gary Houston, John Russell Houston III and Alana Houston, said the source.
“Her estate is going to reap many millions of dollars,” Theodore Peridis of the Schulich School of Business at Toronto’s York University told The ENQUIRER.
“Everyone who signed a deal with Whitney realizes it’s now or never for them to earn extra money, and her estate will profit tremendously.”