The former trustees of James Brown's estate are asking a South Carolina judge to void a 2009 settlement deal which divided up the late soul legend's assets.
Adele Pope and Robert Buchanan claim they were ousted from their positions as trustees because they opposed the offer brokered by then-South Carolina Attorney General Henry MCMaster.
The agreement ended a long-running dispute over the singer's finances and split Brown's funds between his adult children, his widow Tomi Rae Hynie and their young son and his charitable trust.
But Pope and Buchanan, who were previously placed in charge of the estate by a court official, claim MCMaster had no authority to step in and sort out the mess. And they want the deal to be declared null and void. Instead, the pair insists Brown would have wanted to leave all his money in a trust fund to provide education for needy kids.
James Richardson, an attorney for Pope and Buchanan, says, "The attorney general has absolutely no authority to step into litigation and purport to sign settlement agreements."
But the singer's daughter, Deanna Brown -Thomas - the president of the James Brown Family Foundation, is adamant the deal was in everybody's interests.
Brown-Thomas says, "We gave half (of the finances) of what we would get - that would be me, my brothers and sisters and Tomi Rae Hynie. Where had (sic) we not done that (taken the deal), the charitable trust would not have a dime by 2015."
Brown died on Christmas Day (25Dec) in 2006.