Judge allows Brown's wife back into house

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AIKEN - James Brown's children got their day in court on Friday.

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Tomi Rae Hynie Brown (front) reacts to Judge Jack Early's decision to let her back into James Brown's Beech Island estate to reclaim items she may have left. The hearing Friday mainly focused on Mr. Brown's money and trustees, however.  Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Tomi Rae Hynie Brown (front) reacts to Judge Jack Early's decision to let her back into James Brown's Beech Island estate to reclaim items she may have left. The hearing Friday mainly focused on Mr. Brown's money and trustees, however.

His alleged widow got her stuff.

And the public got a peek at the finances of the Godfather of Soul, who died Christmas Day leaving a contested will, a locked-out companion and so many questions that more than a half-dozen lawyers were in an Aiken courtroom Friday trying to sort it all out.

Attorneys for Mr. Brown's children and his wife, Tomi Rae Hynie Brown, argued that the three trustees named in the soul singer's will, Buddy Dallas, David Cannon and Alford Bradley, can't objectively oversee his estate.

They also alleged that the personal representatives might sell his assets to recoup money owed to them by the late soul singer, who died Dec. 25 at age 73.

Second Circuit Judge Jack Early delayed making a decision on whether to remove the personal representatives or appoint a special administrator to oversee the process but said he would make up his mind within a week.

He did, however, let Mrs. Brown back into her late husband's Beech Island estate to get some of her belongings before her planned return to Los Angeles on Monday. The trustees said at the hearing they would accompany Mrs. Brown when she went to the estate.

The hearing attracted the Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime friend of Mr. Brown, who sat in the courtroom with the singer's children.

"Nobody has talked to me," Daryl Brown said after the proceedings. "Nobody has even called me. I have nothing to say about (the trustees)."

Atlanta lawyer Louis Levenson, who represents Mr. Brown's children named in his will - Terry Brown, Larry Brown, Daryl, Venisha Brown, Deanna Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown Lumar - said the trustees hadn't properly managed his assets, failing to pay property taxes and utility bills.

Mr. Levenson also told the judge that sometime between 1999 and 2000, Mr. Brown borrowed $24 million from a New York financial institution that he planned to pay back with future music royalties.

Yet in 2002, when a bank threatened to foreclose on a building Mr. Brown owned in downtown Augusta, his estate trustees, who also oversee the personal trust that contains his music rights and 60-acre Beech Island property, said Mr. Brown didn't have enough money to pay the $700,000 debt.

"There has been no accounting for the $24 million between 1999 and 2002," Mr. Levenson told the judge, who at one point warned the attorney that he was "speculating" about the money.

A 1999 USA Today story reported that an undisclosed major Wall Street financial institution was lending the singer $30 million in exchange for future royalties earned by his recording catalog. The bonds issued in the transaction were priced to yield the lending institution 7.98 percent a year, and the cost to Mr. Brown being from 8 percent to 10 percent annually.

The Augusta Chronicle reported at the time that Mr. Brown would receive advance funds for future earnings of royalties rather than waiting years for them to be calculated and paid. The deal would tie up song rights, but they would revert back to the artist after the bonds were paid off.

Charleston attorney Robert Rosen, who represents Mrs. Brown, said there was a letter showing that Mr. Brown owed Mr. Dallas $2 million, making him a creditor to the estate.

"It's abundantly clear that we have a major conflict of interest at the very least," Mr. Rosen said.

He further argued that without independent oversight, even if Mr. Brown's book of music was worth $100 million, the representatives might "sell it for $20 million to get their $2 million."

Strom Thurmond Jr., an attorney for Mr. Brown's trustees, said the men haven't had time to do their job after the will was read Jan. 18 because of interference from his children and legal action. The singer's children have taken mail and other belongings from the estate, in addition to changing the combination on a safe in his house, the attorney said.

"It's frustrating their efforts," Mr. Thurmond said.

Rodney Peeples, another attorney for the trustees, pointed out that Mr. Brown's trust was not responsible for paying his property taxes or day-to-day bills.

And Friday's hearing, he said, wasn't necessary.

"It's only money, it's only greed," he told the judge. "There's no emergency."

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT:

Judge Jack Early is expected to rule on the petitions from James Brown's children and Tomi Rae Hynie Brown within a week. The appraisal of the estate is supposed to be completed within 90 days of Jan. 18.

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FathersR2
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FathersR2 02/10/07 - 02:46 am
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Leaves no doubt in my mind,

Leaves no doubt in my mind, that everyone involved in these matters only have the Dollar Sign stamped on their hearts. Greed begets greed and in the end the only so-called "winners" will be the lawyers, because these good christian folks can't give an inch (or should I say a dime?) They will drag it all out in court till there isn't anything left at all. James, I don't think would have liked what is going on.

prettybird2
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prettybird2 02/10/07 - 06:06 am
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Thanks a2 for welcoming me on

Thanks a2 for welcoming me on team. Been here since day one -- glad I decided to sign on. I know first hand about financial "trust" [ in will"s ] and the way lawyers can be selfserving in their "advice" to clients setting up estate planning that leaves surviving spouses/children out on their butts !! Let's remember James Brown had only a grade school [ formal ] education. He was dependent on his laywers advice and could have easily been misled. If his lawyers were at his and Tomi's wedding [ toasting the happy couple ] - why didn't they they advise James Brown to update his will to include Tomi at that time ?? And yeah, I can believe the trustee's would sell music rights worth $100 million for $20 million to get their $2 million. And not lose a minute's sleep !! Sure hope Tomi Rae has her "people" to accompany her to get her things from house -- to watch the watchers [ trustees who say they will be there ] !!! Also -- what was Rev. Al's stake in hearing. Why was he there ? I know he's said he felt like he was one of James Brown's sons -- but ?????

a2
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a2 02/10/07 - 07:23 am
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Morning all I thought the

Morning all
I thought the executors/adminstrators of estates were supposed to pay property taxes/utility bills connected with the estate. Then they get reimbursed for this. They are the ones,in this case, with access to the bank accounts right? Is that why they changed their title from trustee to personal reps? So that they are not responsible for this. Who is paying for private security then? There is obviously money available to pay for bills associated with the property. See there Big D caught in another lie.
Anyway, I think Mr. Brown may have even put the duck on Big D, who thought he knew him so well. $24 gazillion million? I don't think Big D even knows where all of that is. It may be on the grounds, or it might be someplace else.
Mr. James Brown third grade education and all was no fool. If it ain't in a financial instituion, the IRS can't get it, Big D can't get it, the children can't get it either.
Tomi Rae, think back over different things he has told you and it will probably lead you right to the money.
Big D you've been had!

TEAM TOMI RAE IN THE HOUSE EARLY THIS MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a2
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a2 02/10/07 - 07:29 am
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I know if it was me and I had

I know if it was me and I had all these "suits" breathing down my back all the time, I'd let them think they knew everything and I'd do what I really wanted to do.
I've been in a situation kind of like this, but without the gazillion millions, but I did find "buried treasure." The one that god has it for will find it.

devaughny
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devaughny 02/10/07 - 07:32 am
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First i want to say hello to

First i want to say hello to Team Tomi Rae!!!!! I've been on an extended vacations, nevertheless I'm back. The soup has gotten thicker, theirs anywhere from 25 to 30 people fighting over the little scraps that JB have left. Remind you he took out an advance payment of $30 million in exchange for future royalties. he's having tax problems again, Mr. Brown didn't have enough money to pay the $700,000 debt, not to mention the fees that have to be paid. On top of that James so called friend of 25 years, Snake Buddy Slick Oil Salesman Dallas will put a judgement against the estate if he is removed as a trustee or don't get the 2 million dollars (I guess its his friendship fee). All this could have been avoided if they would have done right by Dr. James Brown's spouse. I wonder if Art was there or did he send a reporter ?

devaughny
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devaughny 02/10/07 - 07:58 am
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Tomi ? i have a few things

Tomi ? i have a few things that I want you to do,
1. Go to the house and get that money
2. Bury your husband
3. Get a lawyer and hire a good PR firm (You can keep attorney Robert Rosen besides he got you back into the house)
4. Wait about 5 years or so. and turn the house into a grace-land type of deal. (Elvis's grace land made 20 million last year)
5. Have two grand openings
a. For Team Tomi Rae
b. For the general public
Remember we have to invite the Buddy Dallas's clan to the grand opening to let them know we have still have a good heart.

fergie01
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fergie01 02/10/07 - 09:47 am
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TEAM TOMI RAE ONBOARD.tomi

TEAM TOMI RAE ONBOARD.tomi rae i have told you over and over JB hid stuff. Hope you got all you could get and i hope you tripped cruddy on the stairs.

EdithPiaf
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EdithPiaf 02/10/07 - 09:52 am
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OOOOH so THAT explains a lot!

OOOOH so THAT explains a lot! Buddy Dallas didn't let Tomi Rae in the house because HE wanted to go in and search for the millions. What a snake. Welcome back to Augusta Tomi Rae!
Go team!!!!

WW1949
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WW1949 02/10/07 - 10:05 am
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I'm glad Tomi Rae got back in

I'm glad Tomi Rae got back in the house to get her personal things. James probably dodn't leave a tremendous amount of cash in the end because he was just like all the other entertainers-Lots of unnecessary flash and pleanty of wasteful spending to show off. He's done that for years and was always considered a bad paymaster. He should have had automatic draft set up from his checking account for all monthly bills such as power and water. Trustees normally don't pay those kind of bills. HE demolished the original house, guard house and front gate to build another bigger and better with some of the money. I know this because I have seen pictures taken by one of his crew that owes me money.

WW1949
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WW1949 02/10/07 - 10:07 am
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The not so "Rev" Sharpton was

The not so "Rev" Sharpton was there because he probably wants some money also. He's such a fake.

istp
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istp 02/10/07 - 10:12 am
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first off, i watched the news

first off, i watched the news yesterday and the only child that actually said something was darryl, why didn't they get any other reaction from venisha, deanna, and yamma?-I know they had somethin to say in that courthouse.

prettybird2
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prettybird2 02/10/07 - 10:29 am
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Just checking in again. Good

Just checking in again. Good moring to you late risers [hehe]!! Did Art or his rep make it for hearing -- nothing on his site yet. Would luv to hear his take on the latest events.

alajane
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alajane 02/10/07 - 11:43 am
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It appears that no one cares

It appears that no one cares about JB, you places his corspe in a room and started the fight....

Where is the respect? you all need to give a little...
Respect the man in death as you seemed to respect him in life.

When the fight is over the relatives will have not so much, as the lawyers get together and toast themselves for securing the motherload.

Wake up family

to tell the truth1
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to tell the truth1 02/10/07 - 11:43 am
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You didn't hear Al Sharpton

You didn't hear Al Sharpton state at the funeral that Deanna was his new "boss", he's in it for the money too! Deanna had something to say, look at her pic again in this mornings paper,
it was said from her expressions, #1 She pi--ed off b/cause the judge allowed Tomi Rae back into the house and #2 the decision was delayed about the trustees!!!

istp
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istp 02/10/07 - 12:01 pm
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thanks, to tell the truth,

thanks, to tell the truth, did any of the others say somethin? cause I really want to know their take on this 1st decision. I know they have a picture where venisha hugged tomi rae after the court hearing-it seems to me as if that's the only one that still talks to tomi rae.yeah, I saw her pic as she watched the judge make his decision, but i didn't know what she really said, but thanks for the heads up.

gaonmimynd
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gaonmimynd 02/10/07 - 12:07 pm
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go team tomi rae u rock

go team tomi rae u rock girl!!!!!!!

HOPE
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HOPE 02/10/07 - 12:10 pm
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It's all about the money.

It's all about the money. First the Lawyers who have only greed on their mind and not on the family and estate. The son's and daughters of Mr. Brown are truly ignorant only worrying about what they can get out of his estate. They are truly a shameful bunch greedy and selfish ungratefull children. Mr. Brown was a national treasure and all of this B.S. is tarnishing his reputation. I guess none of his children go to church if I am not mistaken the bible says honor thy father! As to Mr. Sharpton he always shows up to any place where he can cause unrest and disruption. He needs to learn how to help people of all colors, instead of spreading pregudice and anarchy and distrust. IT'S TIME FOR MR. SHARPTON TO GO HOME AND SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!!!!!

WW1949
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WW1949 02/10/07 - 12:25 pm
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bravo, he's such a loud mouth

bravo, he's such a loud mouth (sharpton) know it all who only stirs up trouble and half the time he's wrong.

Rose
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Rose 02/10/07 - 01:40 pm
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How does Al think he is a

How does Al think he is a Rev? He shows no love toward others unless there is limelight in it for himself.He comes to Augusta trying to stir up hate. We don't need that here.

to tell the truth1
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to tell the truth1 02/10/07 - 01:53 pm
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I can't wait until it get to

I can't wait until it get to the point where the children are not going to trust each other. They probably don't now. That's why they are worried about being in the know on each and every move. They can't wait to get their hands in the pots. I am willing to bet the only cash that's left is whats left of that loan that is still owed on. Buddy is looking out for his interest, esp. his millions. It is protection. GREED! GREED! to all of them!!!

istp
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istp 02/10/07 - 02:24 pm
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I truthfully want to know

I truthfully want to know what james brown would say? I know one thing-he would be raising some hell right now------all jokes aside. Then the children have to come right back next week and see what will happen cause the judge didn't even focus on what they were there for. I would be [filtered word] off too if I was Deanna, heck all of them should be, I know I would.

istp
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istp 02/10/07 - 02:28 pm
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And as for Al sharpton, I

And as for Al sharpton, I never was too fond of him-------he looks fake,and when he opens his mouth, he seems as if he tries to act all intelligent and knows what he's talkin about but he doesn't. He just seems unreal about the whole situation. I'd rather jesse be there for the family instead of him.See, that's the thing about jesse, he don't have time for drama, but Al surely does.

bubba1
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bubba1 02/10/07 - 02:31 pm
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I cant understand why James

I cant understand why James Brown Children and Tomi Rae want work together as James Brown wanted them to do. The Attorneys will get everything he has worked for. Stop being greedy and work together as a family, James Brown would want that. The problem seems to be, that everyone wants everything for their self, instead of working together. If James Brown loved Tomi Rae, and if they were happy together, the children should accept that. Stop acting like chlidren and wake up !!!! before all those crooks get everything (Attorneys / Reps.) and you'll want have a thing left to do what James Brown wanted. I can see the family and Tomi Rae working to build the Graceland James Brown wanted, they was working together before his death. Daryl Brown and Venisha Brown seems to be the only ones that appears to be down to earth. It's a shame what's going on now after his death, they are dragging his legacy thru the mud. I know he's not resting because of this.

This is my statement *****James Brown Children**** and Tomi Rae ******* ****Wake Up *** and Work Together **** to do the ***Right Thing**** for James Brown********. "he would have done the same for you".

a2
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a2 02/10/07 - 03:55 pm
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Hey, those children are the

Hey, those children are the ones that played Tomi Rae off because they felt she was embarrasing them. They could have let her grieve w/them as a family. But no, instead of just telling her maybe to tone it down. But why would she need to do that when some of them were up there showing off . Don't forget, Tomi Rae may not have known how funerals are done in the OLD SOUTH. She was just being herself. They've embarrased themselves by not properly burying their father in a timely fashion.
Rev. Al Sharpton, yes Rev. is an ordained minister. Whether you like him or not, don't judge him. .
Do not underestimate Rev. Al. You may not think so, but he does speak for a lot of people.
I think the children ( all including Little Man) should get something more than they got. It's not that I don't want them to have anything, but Tomi Rae & son should have something too. A WIFE comes before children in inheritance matters

SHOUTOUT TO TOMI RAE AND
A SHOUT TO ART

Missed you devaughn

GO TEAM TOMI RAE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a2
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a2 02/10/07 - 03:58 pm
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Disgusted, bjones111, and

Disgusted, bjones111, and rose, please remove the sheets and go home.

Thank you

a2
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a2 02/10/07 - 04:01 pm
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Rev al shows up where he is

Rev al shows up where he is invited. But in this case, we're not here to discuss him. So don't get your panties all twisted about that!!

TEAM TOMI RAE IN DA HOUSE!!!!

istp
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istp 02/10/07 - 04:18 pm
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It's not judging, it's facts.

It's not judging, it's facts. He is a fake(al sharpton), and that's my word and i'm keepin 2 it-TAKE THAT TO DA BANK AND CASH IT. Respect that please, we need no more altercations, we have enough with the brown family-------that's who I'm focused on.

moogo
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moogo 02/10/07 - 05:15 pm
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just drop it its all about

just drop it its all about the ole mighty buck.

Rose
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Rose 02/10/07 - 07:10 pm
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a2, what sheets? Are you

a2, what sheets? Are you saying I am in KKK? Al Sharpton is nobody to look up to. Anyone can tell he does not like white people. He has too much hate in his heart. Martin Luther King would be ashamed of him.You have no sense at all if you think I am in the KKK. I have no use for hate groups. None of them.

istp
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istp 02/10/07 - 07:18 pm
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moogo, u crazy, but then

moogo, u crazy, but then again, u might be right.

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