By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - James Brown's charitable trust had just $14,000 in it and his estate was saddled with more than $20 million in debt as it languished in a court battle three years after his death in 2006.
But a complex settlement in 2009 took management of Brown's assets from its trustees and turned it over to a professional money manager. The professional cut deals that put the Godfather of Soul's music on national and international commercials, making enough money to wipe out the crushing debt and open the way to thousands of college scholarships for needy students.
The settlement might be in jeopardy, though. The South Carolina Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday from two former trustees, who want the whole thing thrown out.