- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Brown’s ‘Mrs.’ shut out

Brown’s ‘Mrs.’ shut out

James Brown’s attorney said yesterday that the late singer and his partner were not legally married and that she was locked out of his South Carolina home for legal reasons relating to the estate. The partner, one of Mr. Brown’s backup singers, says the couple was married and she can prove it.

The back and forth continued for most of yesterday, as Tomi Rae Hynie, Mr. Brown’s partner and the mother of his 5-year-old son, camped out at an Augusta hotel with no change of clothes and no money.

“It’s not a reflection on her as an individual,” attorney Buddy Dallas told the Associated Press. “I have not even been in the house, nor will I until appropriate protocol is followed.”

Miss Hynie was already married to a Texas man in 2001 when she married Mr. Brown, thus making her marriage to the singer null, Mr. Dallas said. He said that Miss Hynie later had the previous marriage annulled, but that she and Mr. Brown never remarried.

After the Christmas Day passing of the 73-year-old “Godfather of Soul,” Miss Hynie, 36, found the gates to Mr. Brown’s Beech Island home padlocked and said she was denied access. She argued that she has a legal right to live in the home with the couple’s 5-year-old son.

“This is my home,” Miss Hynie told a reporter outside the house. “I don’t have any money. I don’t have anywhere to go.”

Mr. Dallas said legal formalities need to be followed and added that Mr. Brown’s estate was left in trust for his children. He declined, however, to elaborate on Mr. Brown’s final instructions.

“It’s not intended, and I hope not interpreted, to be an act of unkindness or an act of a lack of sympathy,” Mr. Dallas said. “Ms. Hynie has a home a few blocks away from Mr. Brown’s home where she resides periodically when she is not with Mr. Brown. She is not without housing or home.”

In a phone interview with AP from the hotel yesterday, Miss Hynie said she had documentation to prove she was legally married to Mr. Brown. She said the two had planned to renew their vows but not remarry. She indicated that although annulment papers on her previous marriage initially may not have been filed properly, a judge had told her she was legally married to Mr. Brown.

“I just want this resolved,” she said.

Mr. Brown, whose classic singles include “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good),” died of heart failure early Christmas morning after being hospitalized for pneumonia.

Jolie’s holiday cheer

Actress Angelina Jolie spent Christmas Day with refugees in Costa Rica as part of her work as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the agency said.

According to AP, Miss Jolie arrived Monday to visit a group of refugee children and families most of them Colombian and to meet Costa Rican officials. An estimated 3 million Colombians have been forced from their homes by two decades of armed conflict, and most are internally displaced, essentially refugees in their own country.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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