Fight Over James Brown’s Trust Continues

LOS ANGELES (CN) – James Brown’s former producer, songwriter and spokeswoman says a probate judge ignored her claim to the $100 million children’s trust she claims to have founded with Soul Brother No. 1. In her federal complaint, Jacque Hollander says she and Brown started the I Feel Good Children’s Trust in 1987.

     Over the next two years, Hollander says, she wrote three songs and contributed the royalties to the trust, and also raised thousands of dollars more for it. Under her oversight, the trust gave most of income to needy children, Hollander says.
     In 1989, Hollander says, Brown sexually assaulted her. She sued the entertainer one month before he died in 2006, claiming he had raped her at gunpoint.
     That case was dismissed for having been filed after the statute of limitations had tolled.
     After the alleged assault, Hollander says, she moved to Illinois and stopped working with the trust. But Hollander says neither she nor Brown ever dissolved their partnership.
     Brown kept donating to the trust, giving it “the ownership of his home and intellectual property, including copyright, recordings, trademark and rights to his image,” according to the complaint.
     Brown also willed almost his entire estate to the trust, Hollander says, leaving only his home and personal effects to his own children.
     But between 1989, when Hollander moved away, and Brown’s death in 2006, Hollander says, Brown never contributed any money from the trust to needy kids, but used the $100 million trust like a personal piggy bank.
     On May 26, 2009, Hollander says, South Carolina Judge Doyett A. Early Jr. approved a settlement agreement over Brown’s estate, giving half the trust to Brown’s heirs, and using the other half to create a new trust for needy children.
     Hollander claims she is still a 50 percent partner in the original trust.
     “Despite receiving formal timely notice of Hollander’s interest, the court purposely did not take into account Hollander’s interests in the trust when it ruled on the settlement agreement,” she says in her complaint.
     Hollander demands all present and future assets from The James Brown Irrevocable Trust, and an accounting.
     She sued the trust, Russell Bauknight, The Estate of James Brown, Universal Music Group Inc. and Warner/Chappell Music.
     She is represented by Donald Rosen of Carpentersville, Ill.

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