Soul legend James Brown is to seek an annulment from his wife, claiming she never divorced her previous husband.
James Brown and wife Tomi Rae married in 2001
The lawyer alleged in The Augusta Chronicle that Tomi Mae Brown, 33, did not end her marriage to Javed Ahmed, whom she wed in Houston in 1997.
Mr Brown, 70, filed for annulment after his arrest on a domestic violence charge, for allegedly pushing Tomi Mae to the floor after an argument.
If convicted, he faces 30 days in jail and a $500 (£275) fine.
A police report says Mr Brown pushed her to the floor during an argument and threatened to kill her while holding a chair over her.
Officers from Aiken County said Ms Brown was taken to hospital with scratches and bruises.
Mr Brown spent the night in jail following his arrest on 28 January. He has denied the allegations of domestic abuse.
James Brown was arrested in January
Tomi Rae is Mr Brown's fourth wife.
He has had a number of legal problems over the years, including a two-and-a-half year jail term for assault in 1998.
But he was granted a state pardon in 2003 by the state of South Carolina, meaning he was fully forgiven in the eyes of the law and no longer has to deal with the consequences of his past crimes.