James Brown never ceased to amaze.
And so it is in his death. It turns out that his widow has been locked out of the house.
BEECH ISLAND, South Carolina (AP) -- James Brown's lawyer said Tuesday that the late singer and his partner were not legally married and that she was locked out of his South Carolina home for estate legal reasons.
"It's not a reflection on her as an individual," lawyer Buddy Dallas told The Associated Press. "I have not even been in the house, nor will I until appropriate protocol is followed."
Brown's partner, backup dancer Tomi Rae Hynie, was already married to a Texas man in 2001 when she married Brown, thus making her marriage to Brown null, Dallas said. He said Hynie later annulled the previous marriage, but she and Brown never remarried.
"I suppose it would mean she was, from time to time, a guest in Mr. Brown's home," Dallas said.
On Monday, after the 73-year-old "Godfather of Soul" died at an Atlanta hospital, Hynie, 36, found the gates to Brown's Beech Island, South Carolina, home padlocked and said she was denied access.
The protocol Mr. Brown's lawyer is following, including locking her out, is protocol that was established by the singer himself. And clearly he knew the legal situation involving her previous marriage and made a conscious decision not to remarry her legally.
I have to admit that neither party comes out looking very good in this one.
James Brown has a five year old son by Tomi Rae Hynie, so it's not like she hasn't invested a significant amount of time with him. The couple has feuded and in 2004 Brown pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge after Hynie alleged that he had pushed her to the ground and threatened her life.
On the other hand, Hynie apparently hasn't seen Brown 'in weeks.' He went to the Hospital in Atlanta to be treated for pneumonia, and with him on his deathbed she apparently didn't even bother to come by the hospital and visit, much less keep him company in his final hours. It may be that the 'protocol' he established was done so during these final hours when she was someplace else (she says she was on a 'retreat;' In this day and age it isn't hard to contact anyone in an emergency (as his hospitalization was) And of course she is 36, he is 73. Not saying that there couldn't be true love in this scenario, but her actions during his decline and death hardly suggest it. So Golddigger seems to be the only apt description. Then, to put an exclamation point on it, she was apparently also not with her son when his father died. If there is one other place that it would be logical and understandable for her to be, other than at his bedside, it would be with her son who was losing his father. But apparently when she went on her 'retreat,' she left the boy to grieve in the care of someone else.
As I said, this does not look very good for either of them. And I am sure she is getting in contact with her lawyer right now, to go to court with his lawyer. She will probably lose, because it appears that Brown carefully prepared and landscaped the legal ground in this case before he died.
I just hope there is something left for his kids (including his son by Hynie as well as the rest of the kids.)