In another bombshell twist to the James Brown estate story, Brown’s son Daryl has sent an impassioned plea to Attorney General (AG) Alan Wilson, asking Wilson to protect the intended beneficiaries of his father’s “I Feel Good” education charity.
“The Attorney General was supposed to protect the needy children, not give away what my father intended for them,” Daryl wrote, according to a copy of his letter to AG Wilson received at The Newberry Observer on July 25.
Under James Brown’s will, six named children were to be given his household and personal effects, and education trusts of up to $285,000 were set up for certain grandchildren.
Brown’s music empire was left to the “I Feel Good” education charity for needy and underprivileged students at institutions in South Carolina and Georgia.
The will was contested by the children named in the will and by Brown’s companion, Tommie Rae Hynie.
The estate plan said anyone who contested the will would receive nothing, but in 2009 former AG Henry McMaster worked a settlement deal that took away over half what Brown intended for charity and gave it to the children and companion who had contested the will.
Daryl was among the children who sued, but he regrets that decision.
He wrote in the letter, “At first I just went along with my family, and this was a mistake.”
Daryl wrote that his father’s will in Aiken County has never been overturned, and he asks of Wilson, “What gives your office the authority to change my father’s will? Is it because my father had only an 8th grade education and you think that you have the right to think for him? Is it because my father is a black American, and black Americans do not have the right to have their wills enforced…Mr. Wilson, why has your office not performed their responsibilities and protect the needy children that my father wanted to educate?”
Not one child has received one dollar in the over five years since his father’s death, while lawyers have already been paid millions—with more to come. Lawyers for the Brown children and Hynie are trying to get 50 percent of any monies they receive, Daryl said.
Daryl said his father is “rolling over in his crypt” and pleaded with AG Wilson to protect the trust. “It’s not too late.
The Supreme Court judges can correct what will amount to a lynching of all the dreams of a black man to make a difference in the lives of many children by giving them a way out, not a hand out,” Daryl wrote.
Daryl also confirmed that Hynie was not Brown’s wife and questioned whether her child was his father’s. He said his father was not under undue influence when he made his estate plan, that no one told James Brown what to do.
“My youngest daughter and nephew will graduate next year. They have received no assurance that their tuition will be paid. Despite pleas to Brown trustee Bauknight of Columbia, and the South Carolina Attorney General,” Daryl wrote.
In conclusion, Daryl pleaded with AG Wilson to give his father’s estate plan the same respect that he would have given Brown’s close friend, Sen. Strom Thurmond.
Daryl wrote, “I am concerned about my safety, but I feel I must speak out for what is right, no matter what.”
Although not signed, the letter’s authenticity was confirmed in a telephone call with Daryl Brown and is posted on the Facebook page, James Brown “I Feel Good” Trust (FOIA Concerns).