Originally created 01/18/98

Brown stays at medical facility



Entertainer James Brown will remain in a Columbia medical facility for a few more days after being taken there Thursday for a possible addiction to painkillers, authorities said.

Mr. Brown was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers for an evaluation and later was admitted to Charter Rivers Behavioral Health System, said Aiken County sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank.

A hospital spokesman would neither confirm nor deny Mr. Brown's status because of patient confidentiality.

However, a source close to Mr. Brown's case said the Godfather of Soul likely would remain at Charter Rivers until the middle of the week.

Mr. Brown's agent, Jeff Allen, said Friday that the singer may have become dependent on pain medication.

"He's had a problem with his back, and I don't want to say anything out of place, but he may have gotten addicted to painkillers," Mr. Allen said.

Deputies picked up Mr. Brown at his Beech Island home on a judge's order, according to a sheriff's report, which listed the case as a "mental transport."

Amy Christian, a backup singer for Mr. Brown, said Saturday that she was waiting to hear more about his condition and was confident that he would make a full recovery.

"I'm worried about him, and I'm hoping everything is OK," she said. "I think he'll be just fine. My prayers are with him. We're supposed to have a gig next weekend, and I'm just waiting to hear about that. Right now I'm more concerned about him."

Mr. Brown, 64, who was born in Barnwell, S.C., and grew up in Augusta, admitted in 1995 that he and his wife, Adrienne, had drug problems. Mr. Brown was charged with domestic violence against Mrs. Brown in 1995. Charges were dropped when she died in 1996 while recuperating from extensive cosmetic surgery.

He was charged with domestic violence in 1994 after Mrs. Brown said he pushed her and she fell against a chair, hitting her head. In 1991, Mrs. Brown was ordered to stay away from Mr. Brown after she threatened him with a gun and was charged with arson for setting her husband's clothes on fire in a New Hampshire hotel in 1988.

Mr. Brown was released from a South Carolina prison in 1991 after serving two years for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police officer. Tests later showed Mr. Brown had used the hallucinogen PCP.

AssociatedPress reports were used in this article.