In a recent court battle over the late director John Singleton’s estate, his mother, Sheila Ward, emerged victorious against the claims made by Singleton’s ex-girlfriend, Vestria Barlow, and daughter, Cleopatra. Radar Online reports that a hearing was held in Los Angeles Superior Court where the family members clashed over the distribution of Singleton’s fortune.


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After John Singleton’s passing in 2019, Sheila Ward was appointed to administer her late son’s estate. The beneficiaries of the estate are Singleton’s seven children—Justice, Selenesol, Hadar, Massai, Cleopatra, Isis, and Seven.

In July, Ward submitted her final report to the court, revealing that the estate was valued at an estimated $6.8 million. She asserted that the money would be divided among Singleton’s children.

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However, a couple of weeks later, Cleopatra and her mother, Vestria Barlow, opposed the final report. Barlow filed a $15 million federal lawsuit against Ward and various studios, claiming she was owed a percentage of residuals from several of Singleton’s projects. Despite this, the federal judge dismissed the lawsuit for being brought in the wrong venue.

In the recent hearing, the court presiding over the probate case sided with Ward, granting approval of her final report. This means that Ward has permission to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries, with each child expected to receive around $1 million. The children will continue to receive money over time as the estate collects residuals from Singleton’s work.

The judge deemed the objections to the report as “untimely filed,” solidifying Ward’s position as the administrator of the estate. In her petition, Ward detailed Singleton’s assets, including comic books, movie memorabilia, a Los Angeles home, various vehicles, and ownership stakes in companies like Crunk Pictures and New Deal Productions.

The estate also held valuable items such as expensive comic book art, a 70% interest in Crunk Pictures and New Deal Productions estimated at $3.2 million, a $1.1 million retirement account, $31,000 in the bank, and personal property like a painting of Tupac worth $75,000 and the $50,000 lowrider used by Tyrese in Singleton’s film “Baby Boy.” The resolution of this court battle sheds light on the complex financial legacy left behind by the acclaimed director.