James Brown Still Ain't in the Ground
Thu, 11 Jan 2007 09:51:10
There is still no final resting place for the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. Nearly three weeks after his death on Christmas Day at the age of 73, James Brown's body remains at his home in Beech Island, South Carolina, where it lies in a sealed casket in a refrigerated room under heavy guard. The eventual plan is to inter him somewhere on the property and convert the home into a Graceland-like museum -- but that could take awhile.
"There's a lot of red tape to complete before they can inter him," explains Brown family attorney Debra Opri, "but a committee has been formed of family, friends and trustees to effectuate the transformation of his private residence into a museum, and he will also be laid to rest there."
Brown's personal attorney, Buddy Dallas, pointed to two other reasons why the interment might be awhile in coming: Mr. Dynamite's will has yet to be filed, and the family is planning an elaborate masoleum that is still on the drawing board. "Rome was not built in a day, and when you're dealing with third parties and you've got to get artist renditions of it, all of that just takes some time," Dallas said.
Dallas also continued to defend his decision to lock up Brown's house just hours after his death -- a move that caused a serious dust-up between the attorney and Tomi Rae Hynie, Brown's longtime partner and mother of his five-year-old son. Hynie has gone very public with her anger over being locked out of the house she says she shared with Brown, but Dallas insists that it was done for security reasons and Hynie could have gained access through the proper channels if she had wanted to.
"To this day, Ms. Hynie has never made a request by herself or through a representative to arrange to get a pair of shoes or handbag or whatever she may have left on the estate," Dallas told E! Online. "The first thing we heard is she's throwing herself against the gates with a camera crew."
Hynie refers to herself as Brown's wife, but there is some dispute over whether the couple was legally married. According to Dallas, Hynie was still married to her previous husband when she and Brown exchanged vows, and even though she later had that earlier marriage annulled, her marriage to Brown was never officially sealed. Hynie was not with Brown at the time of his death.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff