The body of soul singer James Brown has yet to be buried as attorneys and his children work to settle issues surrounding his estate, including where he will be laid to rest.
For now, his body lies in a sealed casket in his home on Beech Island, said Charles Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, Ga., which handled the services.
Brown died of heart failure Dec. 25 at age 73. His will has yet to be filed, said Buddy Dallas, an attorney for the singer.
The room where Brown’s body lies is being kept at a controlled temperature, and security guards keep watch, Reid said.The funeral home delivered Brown’s body after services Dec. 30, Reid said.
Brown’s home has been locked since hours after his death to protect his memorabilia, furnishing, clothes and other personal items, Dallas said.
“Just imagine what would have happened,” Dallas 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 his will, along with Brown’s children, will determine the burial site, Dallas said.
Tomi Rae Hynie, Brown’s partner, said shortly after his death that she encountered locked gates as she tried to get into the home she says she shared with the singer and their 5-year-old son.
She wouldn’t discuss the incident Tuesday, but her lawyer said Hynie should be granted access to the home, although he would not talk about whether Hynie might take legal action.
“The hope is that all parties can sit down and figure out what the problem is and what the challenges are,” attorney Thornton Morris said. “And once we figure out what the challenges are we’ll see if we can’t resolve something that’s a win for everybody.”
Lawsuit continuesMeanwhile, a woman who claims Brown raped her nearly 20 years ago said Tuesday she will continue her lawsuit.
Jacque Hollander has asked the U.S. 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.
She argues that the two-year statute of limitations in such cases does not provide equal protection to women.
“This has been a long road that ended tragically Christmas morning,” Hollander said in a phone interview with the Associated Press.
“As a rape victim, I will never get to face him in court, and it hurts,” she said. “But we are moving forward. We filed against his organization, as well as him. So now his organization stands in front of him.”
In her lawsuit, Hollander said Brown raped her at gunpoint in 1988 while she was his publicist. She seeks $106 million in damages.
A federal appeals court tossed out Hollander’s lawsuit in August.
“There was nothing to it 20 years ago and nothing to it 20 years later,” Dallas said.