Nearly seven years after the Godfather of Soul's death, his estate is still the center of court battles. Today, family members and attorneys for his forth wife appeared in an Aiken court to learn how the cases would proceed.
Earlier this year, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned a settlement that divided the estate among Mr. Brown's family members, wife and beloved charities. The justices ruled that Mr. Brown would have wanted more money to go to the charities and sent the case back to a lower court.
Today, attorneys for all parties went before Judge Jack Early to learn how the cases will proceed.
There are three issues at stake. The paternity of James Brown's young son who bares the singer's name. Mr. Brown's marital status is at issue because there are reports that his fourth wife wasn't legally divorced from her previous husband when she married the Godfather of Soul. Finally, there's the case of his will and whether there was undo influence on Mr. Brown.
Judge Early ruled that the cases can be tried separately.
James Brown's daughter Deanna was present for the hearing. She leaning on her faith to get her through the continued court involvement over her father's estate.
Deanna Brown says, "I stay prayed up and that's pretty much what keeps me going is my faith. Dad worked very hard, he worked very hard, so it's just important that the correct people who have legal standing be beneficiaries and the heirs. The purposes of us being here is to find that legal answer."
Judge Early says a date for the next court proceeding should be set in fifteen days.
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