Judge orders Wilson to hand over James Brown documents - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Judge orders Wilson to hand over James Brown documents

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A judge has ordered state Attorney General Alan Wilson to hand over documents to a freelance journalist who is taking a closer look at the court battle over James Brown's multimillion dollar estate.

Journalist Sue Summer is fighting for documents that could tell us plenty about what's left of Brown's estate and how it's been managed since his death.  

Those documents include the diary of Brown's widow and an assessment of Brown's fortune, which Summer says totals just $4.7 million.

In 2009, former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster brokered a deal to split James Brown's estate between his family, his widow, and his education charity.

"They overstepped their bounds," Daryl Brown said. "Even the Supreme Court said it goes back to the original will. You can't do that. You can't change a man's will."

Summer says Brown's original will called for the rights to his music empire go into a charitable trust for poor children. Summer says an audio recording of Brown taken in 1999 proves it.

Summer also says the diary of Brown's widow could help determine if they were actually married at the time of his death. She also hopes to find out how the legendary soul singer's fortune was valued at only a few million dollars at the time of his death, but an offer was made for far more than that back in 2009.

"We don't know the documents on which that valuation was based," Summer said. "And I'd like to see them because I have serious doubts about that. When the settlement deal when through, there was a $100 million offer on the desk."

A spokesman from Wilson's office says a review on the decision is currently underway and the office has no comment. Wilson has been given a 30-day extension to hand over the documents.

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