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Alabama Stories

Jett Williams

Original Air Date: 6/21/2011

I had four families before I was four, was orphaned three times, and had six name changes, says Jett Williams. Twice disinherited, the successful country music artist's early life was anything but normal. In a special new episode of Alabama Stories, she discusses the battle she fought to prove her paternity and to become a legal heir to the estate of her biological father, Hank Williams.

Born in Montgomery, in 1953 five days after Williams’ death, she was adopted by her paternal grandmother, who died in 1957. Passed to Hank’s sister, Jett was turned into the state as an unwanted child and was placed in the Alabama foster care system, where she was adopted by a family living in Mobile.

While attending the University of Alabama, Jett’s adoptive father confided to her that it was possible that she was the daughter of the legendary Hank Williams. In 1980, she began a campaign to verify her paternity and a battle to claim her share of Williams’ estate that ended in 1987 when, having been declared the biological child of Williams, she was awarded half of Williams’ estate. Her court case resulted in changes in numerous laws, including those governing inheritance rights of adopted children.

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