The body of Godfather of Soul James Brown has yet to be buried as lawyers and his children try to settle issues surrounding his estate, including where he will be laid to rest.
For now, Brown’s body lies in his home on Beech Island, South Carolina, with security guards keeping watch over a room kept at a controlled temperature, says Charles Reid, manager of the undertakers that handled the services.
Brown, 73, died of heart failure on Christmas Day. His will had yet to be filed, said Buddy Dallas, a lawyer for the singer.
Brown’s home had been locked since hours after his death to protect his memorabilia, furnishings, clothes and other personal items, Dallas said.
“Just imagine what would have happened,” he said. “Items of James Brown would have left there like items off the shelves of Macy’s in an after-Christmas sale.”
The trustees for Brown’s will, along with his children, will determine the burial site, Dallas says.
Tomi Rae Hynie, Brown’s partner, said shortly after his death she encountered locked gates as she tried to get into the home she said she shared with the singer and their five-year-old son.
She would not discuss the incident yesterday, but her lawyer said Hynie should be granted access to the home. He would not talk about whether Hynie might take legal action.
Meanwhile, a woman who claims Brown raped her nearly 20 years ago said she would continue her lawsuit.
Jacque Hollander has asked the US Supreme Court to hear her sexual harassment suit, which a lower court ruled last year she had waited too long to file. A Supreme Court decision on whether to hear the case is pending.
In her lawsuit, Hollander said Brown raped her at gunpoint in 1988 while she was his publicist. She seeks €82.8m in damages.
A federal appeals court threw out Hollander’s lawsuit in August.
“There was nothing to it 20 years ago and nothing to it 20 years later,” Dallas said.