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Daughter of Wu-Tang’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard says she & siblings have received no money since his death

Known to the world as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the Wu-Tang Clan’s Russell Jones was just Dad to Ashana Jones and his six other children from five different women.

Though Ashana was only 7 years old when Dirty, as friends called him, died of an accidental drug overdose, she recalls him being “an awesome father. I remember going with him to Coney Island, to Grandma’s house, to Universal Studios.” She even had “good relations” with her half-siblings.

But when the rapper unexpectedly passed away in 2004 at age 35, he didn’t leave behind a will — and his offspring are still fighting for their share of his legacy.

“He was young,” ODB’s former manager Jarred Weisfeld told The Post. “You can’t tell somebody who’s 35 to get a will.”

In 2020, Ashana’s mother, Krishana Rucker, received a $500,000 settlement for outstanding child support, dating back to the time of his death. Payments were completed this past February.

Ashana Jones, seen here as a baby, remembers her dad ODB as “an awesome father.”
Courtesy of Krishana Rucker

“Now I need to sign off that the case is closed,” Rucker told The Post. “Then I will give my lawyer a retainer and commission him to get my daughter her inheritance from Russell’s estate.”

“I have not seen anything as of yet and neither have my half-siblings,” Ashana told The Post. “I don’t know what is owed. But I just want what is owed. That sum can be sizable and right now I have received zero.”

Back in 2007, two of the other mothers of ODB’s kids, Cheryl McCall and Suzy Wong, made an unsuccessful bid, in surrogate court, to have Icelene Jones, ODB’s widow and administrator of the estate, removed from her position.

Young Dirty Bastard and Old Dirty Bastard Family attend Tribeca TV: Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at Beacon Theatre on April 25, 2019 in New York City.
When the rapper unexpectedly passed away in 2004 at age 35, he didn’t leave behind a will.
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Since that court challenge, ODB’s offspring have not been particularly aggressive in making moves that would lead to them getting their inheritances. But that may be about to change.

“I reached out to Greg [Watts, attorney for the estate] to try getting light on the situation about the heirs’ share,” Ashana said. “I reached out in the hope that somebody can tell me when everybody will get established and when I will get my payment, so I can avoid going to court. I don’t want to. But if I have to, I will. I am being ignored. Enough is enough. We have to stop playing games.”

As ODB did not leave a will, New York State decided how the rapper’s money would be divided. Icelene was deemed to get half the money in his estate, and the remainder would split between his apparently recognized 7 children. (According to reports, there may have been as many as 13 kids.)

ODB rose to fame while in rap group Wu-Tang Clan.
ODB rose to fame in the Staten Island, NY, rap group Wu-Tang Clan.
Bob Berg/Getty Images

Money has, as of yet, not been paid out to them.

Rucker, who was never married to the rapper, alleged that Icelene “tried to cut off the four kids who weren’t hers from any inheritance by maintaining they were not Russell’s children. She went so far as to file a frivolous lawsuit in the state of California against my daughter and I claiming that we lied about Russell being her father. She ultimately withdrew the suit. But is that the lowest thing you can do?”

Rucker alleged to The Post that “Icelene … has not given us an accounting of the estate’s money.”

Russel died in 2004 at age 35 and left no will.
ODB died in 2004 at age 35.
Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

Through her attorney, Gregory S. Watts, Icelene chose not to comment. He told The Post, “No one has filed anything alleging … those comments.”

Icelene, who was married to ODB for 13 years before his death, told The Post in 2004, “For the record, he has only three children. Nothing else was ever proven. There were never any blood tests or his signing any birth certificates. He had three children that we know are by his wife — by me.”

According to Rucker, ODB loved his seven kids.

ODB's left a lasting impression on a city where he is memorialized in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The rapper left a lasting impression on pop culture and is memorialized in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

“He took all seven babies home to meet their grandmother and helped raise all the kids,” Rucker said. “He was an excellent father. From the first time my daughter took her first breath until he took his last, he took care of her.”

But that did nothing to help Rucker’s relationship with Icelene. “A couple months [after ODB’s funeral],” said Rucker, “I got a call from [Icelene’s] then attorney. He was nasty. His words penetrated my soul. He said, ‘She is his wife, [you] have no say and she will inherit everything.’ I said, ‘Isn’t that after all the debts are paid?’ He said, ‘There are no debts.’ I told him that Russell has a child-support payment. I was awarded $1,719 per month. We fought from 2004 and [the estate] finally settled with me.”

Nevertheless, Rucker believes that there is more: “Nobody would just pay out $500,000 unless they have a lot of money.”

ASHANA JONES
Ashana was only 7 years old when Dirty, as friends called him, died of an accidental drug overdose.
Provided by Krishana Rucker

In 2021, a payment of $130,000 was made to the estate from Wu-Tang Productions, Inc. Additionally, “certain payments” dating to 2019 and 2020 were also received. On top of that, in a lawsuit filed in February against Wu-Tang Productions, ODB’s estate claimed it is owed royalties from his copyrights and image, going back to 2011. With Icelene as the estate administrator, the suit is for $1 million in damages.

As to how much the rapper’s estate is now worth, Watts, attorney for the estate, would only tell The Post, “The estate is fluid. You have to account for … debts and liabilities.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that the estate has generated seven figures since his death,” said Weisfeld. “That would have come through song royalties, documentaries, the use of his song in the opening credits of ‘Knocked Up.’ For that alone, he should have gotten six figures.”

In 2020, Krishana Rucker — Ashana's mom — was awarded a $500,000 settlement for outstanding child support, dating back to the time of ODB's death.
In 2020, Krishana Rucker — Ashana’s mom — was awarded a $500,000 settlement for outstanding child support, dating back to the time of ODB’s death.
Courtesy of Krishana Rucker

According to Watts, the money is coming — just slowly.

“Ashana and those who have been identified as heirs are distributees of the estate,” he said. “There was no money in the estate when it was first formed. Russell Jones died and there was nothing. His wife with other marketing executives were able to market his image and music [and] generate money for the estate” — separate from what Icelene maintains that Wu-Tang owes the estate. “The heirs can potentially get distributions. As soon as we have accumulated it, they will get distributions from time to time. If, say, the estate gets $1 million, then they will get distribution after expenses.”

Attorney Watts claims that no heirs have been paid due to Rucker’s child-support claim taking precedent.

Gregory S. Watts, attorney for the estate, says money is coming, just slowly.
Gregory S. Watts, attorney for ODB’s (above) estate, said the money is coming, just slowly.
Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

“We could have distributed money to the heirs. But Ashana’s mother was opposed to distribution of the $500,000 to any of the heirs including her own daughter,” Watts told The Post. “She wanted to be paid first regardless. We had to do that.”

Said Rucker: “Everyone accused me of being selfish and looking out for myself because I would not drop the child-support lawsuit … The child support was the first step. Now the next step is for Ashana and the other siblings to get what they are entitled to.”

As for what Ol’ Dirty Bastard himself would make of all this family drama, his former manager Weisfeld said: “Dirty would be beyond upset by what is going on. If he could see this, he would say to me that I should have gotten him his divorce. He got out of jail and asked for three things. He wanted a record contract, a clothing line and a divorce. I got him two out of the three before he died.”

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