CHICAGO (CN) – Jacqueylne Hollander sued James Brown’s estate in a dispute over the $100 million I Feel Good Children’s Trust. She claims it’s hers: that she established the trust with the late singer, that she can’t get a fair hearing in South Carolina, and that “despite the accumulated assets in the trust, which are estimated at over one hundred million dollars, Brown never contributed any material amount toward needy children and, in fact, borrowed freely from the trust assets for his own personal use.”
The federal complaint continues: “After Brown’s death, the will was filed in the Probate Court of Aiken County, South Carolina. Judge Doyett A. Early Jr. has presided over the probate proceedings regarding the Trust and the Estate of James Brown. There is currently pending before that court a proposed settlement agreement that would eviscerate the trust and, in contradiction to the terms of the will, allow only half of Brown’s assets to fund the Trust.
“The trustees appointed by Brown himself to the trust have been replaced by court-appointed trustees, the defendants Adele Pope (hereinafter referred to as ‘Pope’) and Robert L. Buchanan Jr. (hereinafter referred to as ‘Buchanan’).
“Hollander has made many attempts to be heard before the South Carolina Court and has been told that she could not appear without counsel. It has been impossible, due to the magnitude of the proceedings, for Hollander to obtain disinterested local counsel in South Carolina. Her attempts to discuss her personal interest in the trust with Pope and Buchanan were met with indifference and even hostility.”
Hollander claims she continued in partnership with Brown after he sexually assaulted her in 1989. She demands an accounting and declaratory judgment that she owns the trust’s assets as the surviving partner. She is represented by Donald Rosen of Carpentersville, Ill.