DNA test for child in James Brown case

April 25, 2008 5:51:52 PM PDT
A South Carolina judge has ordered a paternity test for the 6-year-old son of a woman who claims to be James Brown's widow.

Judge Jack Early said Friday the DNA test on James Brown II should be completed within the next 30 days. Trustees handling the singer's estate questioned the claims of Tomi Rae Hynie that her son is Brown's son, attorneys representing Hynie and the child said.

"Clearly, James Brown has held up this child to be his son," said Peter Shahid, a court-appointed attorney for James Brown II, adding that the child has received Social Security and insurance benefits since the soul singer's death. "We have writings that he has signed indicating that this is his son. He talks lovingly of his child. So all indications are this is the son of James Brown."

Hynie's attorney Robert Rosen said his client has never objected to a paternity test.

"She's said that she was in favor and would do the test, provided that the other children also took the test," Rosen said. "She didn't feel like her son should be singled out."

A motion to test Brown's adult children was not heard in court Friday. An attorney for Brown's adult children said he had no comment on the judge's ruling.

The decision to test the boy is the latest in the long-running fight over Brown's estate. Brown died in Atlanta on Christmas Day 2006, throwing into turmoil the future of his estate and trust. The total value of his estate is still unclear.