James Brown’s Family Fights For $100M Estate, New Suspicions About Wife Emerge

Posted On : September 2, 2018

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It’s been nearly 12 years since the iconic James Brown left this earth and still, his will has not been honored and his children, wife, and estate overseers are all still at war. There is more drama than a lil’ bit surrounding the Godfather of Soul’s $100 million estate and some hella fishy goings-on happening behind the scenes.

Family Was Shocked After Receiving Details Of Brown’s Will

As we previously reported, James Brown’s children were beyond shocked to learn who his will left the bulk of his 100M’s to. His will stated that $2 million worth of scholarship money were to go to his grandchildren; and his costumes and household items- worth approximately $2million- were to be divided among his 6 children. However, the other approximately $98MILLION was to go to the  I Feel Good Trust to provide scholarships for children in South Carolina (his hometown) and Georgia.

Needless to say, there have been several lawsuits filed to contest the authenticity of Brown’s will. There are also pending lawsuits contesting several other factors, including copyright percentages and whether or not Tommie Hynie was even James Brown’s wife in the first place. Even James’ and Tommie’s 16 year-old son has filed a lawsuit.

Wife Mysterious Business Move After Marriage To Brown Questioned

The good thing is that Brown’s kids, grandkids and wife, apparently fought for a percentage of the copyrights of Browns 900-song catalog. But as of 2018, a new lawsuit against Tommie was filed.

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As Brown’s kids and wife continued to battle over the $100M estate, questions about Tommie and Brown’s marriage began to surface. The children legally disputed if Tommie Hynie is entitled to any money at all. Why? Because Tommie was reportedly married to someone else in 2001, when she and James wed:

Via NYTimes: Ms. Hynie…was apparently married to another man in 2001 when she wed Mr. Brown, a circumstance that led to the legal challenge of her status. Mr. Brown had filed for an annulment at one point, but a South Carolina judge ruled in 2015 that she had been the wife and was a legal heir, and that her child, James Brown II, was Mr. Brown’s son.

After suspicions surfaced about the authenticity of their marriage, Tommie pulled an eyebrow raising move. One that reportedly attempts to draw attention away from questions about her marriage to James, according to a new federal lawsuit, filed by some of James Brown’s children:

Via NYTimes: Ms. Hynie sold her share of the termination rights to just five of Mr. Brown’s 900-some compositions to Warner/Chappell, a large song publisher, for nearly $1.9 million. […] The federal suit charges that Ms. Hynie and James Brown II [16] made deals regarding these rights without fully informing Mr. Brown’s other children and grandchildren, and thus “conspired to unlawfully deprive plaintiffs of their valuable termination interests.” It says Ms. Hynie agreed to give back 65 percent of her share of the termination rights to the estate in exchange for its dropping the challenge to her spousal status, and it questions why she would agree to turn over such a potentially large benefit.

“The Estate of James Brown has long been marred by dubious back-room dealings between the Estate and James Brown’s putative wife, Tommie Rae Hynie, as described in our lawsuit,” a lawyer for the children and grandchildren, Marc Toberoff, said in a statement.

According to James Brown’s close friend, Charles Bobbit, Brown warned him that, “It’s gonna be a big mess when I die, Mr Bobbit. A big mess. Stay out of it.”

James was right.