The dispute over James Brown’s estate is almost over.
Since the singer’s death in 2006, the late star’s assets have been at the center of ongoing lawsuits involving his children, a former romantic partner and various administrators.
The legal woes have even delayed a charitable plan that could distribute millions of dollars through educational scholarships for underprivileged children in South Carolina and Georgia. That goal was so dear to Brown that he made it the centerpiece of his will, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
However, it’s looking like the ongoing battle will finally reach an end for everyone involved.
According to the outlet, a settlement reached last Friday, will resolve most of the outstanding litigation. A statement from Brown’s children and the estate’s administrator, Russell L. Bauknight, revealed it was made after two months of “lengthy mediation discussions.” The agreement will also “fulfill Mr. Brown’s noble estate plan to fund scholarships.”
In this July 6, 2005 file photo, James Brown performs on stage during the Live 8 concert at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, was 73 when he died of heart failure on Christmas day in 2006 in Atlanta, less than two days after being hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia. (AP)
Marc Toberoff, a lawyer for nine of Brown’s heirs – five children, the estate of another child and three grandchildren – told the outlet “the matter has been settled.”
The outlet noted that neither Bauknight, Toberoff nor anyone else involved in the settlement negotiations provided further details.
Brown, recognized as the “Godfather of Soul,” passed away on Christmas Day 2006 at age 73. His cause of death was listed as heart failure.
Brown was renowned for hundreds of iconic musical works including hits like “I Feel Good” and “A Man’s World,” and was known around the world for his flashy performances and dynamic stage presence. But years of drug problems and financial mismanagement caused his estate to dwindle.
More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed over the years by people trying to lay claim to what’s left, which courts have estimated to be worth anything from $5 million to more than $100 million.
His dying wish was to create an “I Feel Good” trust that would use his music royalties to fund educational expenses for children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.