Somebody Else Wants a Piece of James Brown’s WillA Georgia woman who claims to have married James Brown in 1953 says in court papers they were never divorced and she wants to be part of his estate. 73-year-old Velma Warren Brown filed a sworn statement in Aiken County court Wednesday claiming she was never served with divorce papers and didn’t sign any agreement ending her marriage to the late soul singer. Brown died Christmas Day at age 73. However, at least two attorneys involved in disputes over Brown’s estate and trust discounted the woman’s claim, and said she had remarried.

The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle also reported Thursday on its Web site that it had obtained court documents showing a judge had granted a divorce in 1969. A message left for Velma Brown’s attorney, David Bell, wasn’t immediately returned. Bell has said his client married the “Godfather of Soul” on June 27, 1953, had three children and lived with him for 17 years. “There was never a formal separation or a divorce,” Bell said. “They kind of went their separate ways, but he always kept in touch with her.” He said the two last saw each other in December at Brown’s home in South Carolina, just weeks before he died in a Georgia hospital. Bell said his client was coming forward now because “it’s something that she had just never thought about.”

Looks like his 4th wife (and baby-mama), Tomi Rae Hynie has a little “friendly” competition!