James Brown's family reconsiders handling of late singer's estate

James Brown's family reconsiders handling of late singer's estate

BARNWELL COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - The battle for James Brown's $100 million empire continues in the Barnwell County court system after the South Carolina Supreme Court said an estate settlement was "unjust and unreasonable."

The Supreme Court overturned the settlement of the estate calling it a "dismemberment" of Brown's will.

Now dozens of attorneys, a judge and the family are all taking a step back to determine how they will move forward with the late singer's estate.

Deanna Brown Thomas and Dr. Yamma Brown, James Brown's daughters, say it hasn't been easy waiting for the court's decision but now they know how to move ahead.

"It's not so great that we've had to five, six years but in that time we've learned a lot. Now we go in with our eyes wide open and a whole lot more knowledgeable," said Deanna Thomas.

One of the issues that caused the Supreme Court to overturn the settlement was the lack of evidence supporting the children's claims that Brown never would have left his family out of his will.

His children say his trustees convinced him to leave his multi-million dollar estate to needy children in Georgia and South Carolina.

The family says they kept evidence that Brown was influenced out of the courts because they don't want Brown's public image to change.

Now they have to decide if they will make their father's private life public.

"There are issues that every family has to deal with that are private and there are some issues that we'll have to deal with. As a family we will stay prayerful and make the right decisions," said Deanna Thomas.

The attorneys can't speak on camera because it's still in litigation. One attorney, who asked to remain unnamed, says he believes that if the Brown family had a smoking gun they would have used it already.

Brown's daughters say they hope the case moves through the courts quickly because the longer it's tied up, the smaller the estate becomes.

"Over the years we know there have been monies lost along with the potential monies to be made," said Yamma Brown.

We don't know what's left of Brown's empire because of a court order. But his daughters say they'll keep fighting for what remains.

"Six, ten years, whatever it takes, we're going to fight. We don't have any reason to stop," Yamma Brown, said.

Brown's daughters say they don't know if they will try and work out another settlement yet.

Judge Jack Early says he needs to hear 10 motions and numerous collateral cases before he makes another decision on a settlement.

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