BY ART HARRIS, (c), www.artharris.com, all rights reserved
The Bald Truth has obtained a secret DNA test that establishes the late Godfather of Soul fathered the now six year old boy he nicknamed “Little Man” and considered his son, James Brown II, by Tomie Rae Hynie Brown.
“If that was James Brown’s bone we tested, that’s James Brown’s kid,” says Robert Archer, PHd, director of Genetic Identity labs of Eugene, Oregon in an exclusive interview with The Bald Truth.
“The alleged father (James Brown) cannot be excluded as the biological father of the child since they share genetic markers,” says the lab’s paternity screening report dated April 18, 2008. A copy obtained by The Bald Truth reports “the probability of paternity is 99.999975 as compared to an untested, unrelated man of the African American population.”
“Now we have the science to back up what we knew all along,” his widow, Tomie Rae, tells me in an exclusive interview.
“James was my husband, and â€˜Little Man” is our son, and greed is the only reason others have been telling lies like â€˜James had a vasectomy,’ or â€˜he didn’t believe this was his child’…He never questioned whether this was his son, I’ve always been willing to have Little Man tested, but I wanted his other children to be tested, too.
Along with the Godfather’s six grown children â€“ who oppose DNA testing on them â€“ Tommie Rae is also contesting the Godfather’s will, which failed to even mention her or JB II, kicked out of Brown’s Akin, S.C. house after he died in 2006.
Estate trustees have questioned Little Man’s legitimacy, and April’s GQ magazine reported sources close to Brown saying the Godfather underwent a vasectomy years ago after siring several children. In recent months, DNA tests confirmed two new grown offspring, and now, Little Man, the only child he named after himself.
Indeed, a birth certificate we also obtained lists the Soul Man extraordinaire as JB 2′s father, and he’s receiving social security benefits as Brown’s child; Brown referred to the boy as his son in an autobiography.
On a never before released videotaped interview we’ve reviewed, the Godfather mentions that he expects his wife, Tomi Rae, and their son, JB II, to be well taken care of by recordings and royalties he will one day leave behind.
Brown and Tomi Rae can be seen sitting on a hotel room couch holding hands and discussing her singing career and who will manage her. Tomi Rae tells me she had the afternoon videotaped for a yet to be edited documentary on their life together, and had no idea that her husband would die a few months later in an Atlanta hospital, in December, 2006.
It’s eerie to watch, with the Godfather, full of energy, nibbling a plate of food Tomi Rae fetches. He’s dressed in a blue suit, his trademark hair pouffed and pomaded to perfection, and shows great affection for Tomi Rae, calling her singing talents considerable.
Since she was booted out of their home after he died, Tomi Rae says she’s now homeless and living with friends in California while she and her son fight for standing and a share of the estate.
To cut down on conflict between heirs and trustees since Brown died, a South Carolina judge last week ordered Tomi Rae to have a DNA test done on her son within 30 days, not knowing JB II’s court-appointed guardian ad litum, attorney Peter Shahid, a former assistant U.S. attorney, had done a secret DNA test two weeks earlier.
In court, Shahid and Tomi Rae’s Charleston, S.C. attorney, Robert Rosen, consented to have JB II tested, and at the request of the other Brown chlildren, postponed a motion that the other children be DNA tested, too. “Tomi Rae has always agreed to have their son tested as long as the other children were treated the same way,” said Rosen.
In an exclusive interview, Shahid tells me in quietly testing the boy earlier, he was looking out for his client’s welfare, since JB II stood to lose federal benefits from James Brown’s social security and health insurance benefits from the actor’s guild if he were stripped of his standing.
To be prepared for anticipated DNA tests, doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina had retrieved bone fragments from Brown’s body before burial. Shahid obtained a sample, and mailed it to the DNA lab in Oregon, he says; Tomi Rae swabbed her son’s cheek for saliva and sent that in.
Dr. Archer, who did the testing, tells me he had no idea it was DNA from the legendary dead celebrity, and ran it blind. The only way the books could be cooked, he said, would be if it was a completely different African American father and son combo, or DNA from the brother or another son of JB had been dispatched as a ruse. Since the rest of the family is locked in a bitter fight with Tomi Rae and the boy, that’s an unlikely scenario.
“If they want to do another DNA test with a legitimate lab and we can be sure of the chain of custody, they can knock themselves out,” says Shahid.
“We’ve got the answer to what could be a multi-million dollar question now,” says Tomi Rae lawyer Robert Rosen, who is also fighting for his client’s standing as JB’s bonafide widow.
“I’ve lost work over this and me and my son have been shunned as virtual outcasts,” Tomi Rae tells me.
“Everyone’s been trying to make me and my son look as if we don’t belong, when we were the only ones who were really in James Brown’s life and never doubted his love. This is all about greed, and that’s why he left most of his estate to a trust for needy children. But James always promised we’d be taken care of.”
Tomi Rae says wills backing that up went missing after he died.
See the exclusive DNA report, and other documents below: