SC Supreme Court rules Tomi Rae Hynie is not James Brown’s wife

Investigative series on James Brown's death

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, had a dying wish to help educate needy children. But his estate has been held up by 14 years of legal battles.

Now the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that Tomi Rae Hynie, a former partner of Brown’s who claimed to be his wife, was not legally married to the singer due to her failure to annul a previous marriage, and therefore has no right to his estate.

Brown’s union with Hynie has long been the center of the evolving legal troubles following his death at the age of 73 on Christmas Day 2006.

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