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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
James Brown rape case dismissed
James Brown
James Brown was known as the Godfather of Soul
The US Supreme Court has refused to revive a legal case brought against James Brown over an alleged rape.

The singer's former public relations assistant Jacque Hollander claimed he raped her at gunpoint in 1988. She was seeking $106m (53.5m) damages.

A federal judge dismissed the claim in 2005, saying the two-year time limit for such cases had expired. An appeals court upheld his ruling last year.

The soul music legend died in December, aged 73, after contracting pneumonia.

Ms Hollander's original legal action claimed she was attacked in the back of a van off a South Carolina highway, where she was forced to undress at gunpoint.

She also alleged Brown battered her and slammed her head against the vehicle's interior for several hours.

She sought compensation for a neurological disorder she claims was caused by her "rape and torture".

'Hurt'

But Brown's lawyer, Buddy Dallas, said he had expected the Supreme Court to rule against her.

"When you let years and years go by and you make accusations with no apparent substance to it, why should it be a surprise?" he said.

Ms Hollander said she felt the case had been thrown out because of Brown's fame.

James Brown
Brown recorded more than 50 albums during his career
"Unfortunately for this case, I think it was more about James Brown, the Godfather of Soul," she said, referring to the singer's nickname.

"It hurts. This whole thing has hurt - 19 years of extreme hurt and pain."

Ms Hollander has not ruled out future legal action, but said she would focus on "writing the truth and revealing the evidence" in a book or film.

James Brown had a number of brushes with the law before his death, including claims over domestic violence, drug charges and weapons possession.

In 2002, he was cleared in a case of sexual harassment lodged by another former employee, who went on to be awarded damages for wrongful dismissal.

The singer was buried in a tomb at the home of one of his daughters in South Carolina last month. His body is expected to be moved once a public mausoleum is built.


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