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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 11:31 GMT
James Brown 'wife' suing estate
James Brown
The 'hardest working man in showbusiness' died of heart failure
The estate of late soul singer James Brown is facing another court battle from a woman who claims she was still married to him when he died.

Velma Warren Brown, 73, from Georgia, says she and the performer married in 1953 and were never divorced.

However, lawyers for James Brown have dismissed her claim, saying she remarried and cite court documents granting a divorce in 1969.

The singer died on Christmas Day last year, aged 73.

Separate ways

Louis Levenson, a lawyer representing James Brown's estate, said: "If Ms Brown believed that she was not divorced, she's admitting to having herself committed bigamy."

However, David Bell, representing Ms Brown, has insisted there was never a formal separation or a divorce.

He added that his client married the "Godfather of Soul" on 27 June 1953, had three children, and lived with him for 17 years.

Mr Bell said: "They kind of went their separate ways, but he always kept in touch with her."

He said his client was coming forward now because it was something that "she had just never thought about".

Since James Brown died at least three people have laid claim to his estate, saying that DNA testing proves they are his children.

A former backing singer also claimed she was the singer's fourth wife.

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