James Brown leaves 5-year-old son and "wife" out of will

01/16/2007 at 08:00 AM ET

When The Godfather of Soul died on Christmas morning, he left behind many adoring fans, but none more devoted than his partner, and alleged wife Tomi Rae Hynie, and their 5-year-old son James Jr. However, Tomi and James Jr. were forgotten in James’ plans for his demise and the singer left the two of them out of his will and without inheritance, according to his attorney Strom Thurmond Jr.

Thurmond says James’ other 6 children were included in the will, which was read last Thursday.

Tomi and James Jr. were locked out of the family’s residence, which is said to be under the ownership of "the trust," shortly after James’ death and Tomi plans to pursue legal action to ensure that her son is taken care of following his father’s death.

"She was locked out of the house so she doesn’t know where the will that’s being probated was found," Tomi’s attorney Thornton Morris said. "She has no knowledge to when this particular will was executed."


This is just so sad for this little boy all around!

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julee on

my dad died when i was 15 and i would like to say that i am sure he will never go without food on the table or clothes and as long as he has lots of love he will be ok “It dosent matter who his father was, It matters who he remembers he was.”

Latisha on

I doubt he was left out intentionally. James Brown probably just didn’t update his Will within the last five years. Same thing happened to my grandfather, he hasn’t update his will in about seven years, not out of intent just out of neglect. He’s older and it’s just not something he’s been on top of. Being that the child is so young, he just probably didn’t change his will to include him, and it wasn’t probably to hurt the child. Just something that sometimes happens. My mother and I talked about this and this is what she concluded and I agree with her.

Mary on

In my country he can not mention his kid in his will, but the justice will always give all the sons and daughter ( no matter if parents are married or not) the same right.. So his will about any difference related to his kids would have no value.

P Dawn on

I HOPE it was just an oversight on his part, but we will probably never know for sure. I hate to think that if that little boy is truly his son that he would intentionally leave him out like that!

Misty on

I’m sure it was not done intentionally. Hopefully his other six siblings will set up some sort of trust fund for him, he is after all their brother 🙂

Erin on

I recall hearing something about his lawyer claiming that before James died he told him that, in regards to Tomi Raye’s son, he “know(s) what to do now.” He apparently, according to the lawyer, meant that it was time to perform a paternity test to find out for sure. The laywer said that James didn’t care if the child was his or not when he was alive, but now that he is gone and his estate is at stake he wants his children to know for sure.

That said, I hate what the kids are doing to Tomi Raye. Whether or not they were legally married they were still together for years and have raised a child together. It’s only right to leave that boy something and also help his mother out – his biological child or not (and for what it’s worth I do think that child is his) he only knows James Brown as his father and James raised him like his own… it’s only right.

Naughty Cal on

Most states have provisions that protect children from accidental disinheritance. Hopefully this will take care of that.

Erin on

According to Yahoo!, James drew up the will 10 months before James Jr was born and more than a year before he and Tomi Raye were married.

Nicole R. on

James Brown’s lawyer is Strom Thurmond Jr.?!

Hey. he’s a celebrity baby!