JAMES BROWN'S WIFE SAYS 'HE HURT ME BAD,' BUT: I FORGIVE HIM

Published on: February 6, 2004

"He hurt me bad, but I love him. I'm sorry he was arrested. I will take him back."

James Brown's wife Tomi Rae, 34, made that startling declaration of forgiveness in an exclusive interview with The ENQUIRER -- the same day the Godfather of Soul was let out of jail, after being charged with beating her.

Even more incredibly, Tomi Rae, who is recuperating at her mother's home from what she says are, "contusions, cuts, fractures and abrasions," revealed that she is more concerned with how the 70-year-old singer looked as police took him into custody, than her own injuries.

Newspapers across the nation have displayed the embarrassing mug shot, which shows the legendary singer looking dazed and wildly disheveled.

"All I wanted to do when the police hauled him away was comb his hair and change him from his pajamas," she said.

"But they wouldn't let me. I even offered one officer a comb.

"I said, 'Don't let the Godfather go out looking like this. Please!'

"But they said, 'We know who he is. We know what he's like.'

"When I saw that picture of him in the local paper the following day, he looked terrible -- worse than that horrible arrest picture of Nick Nolte!"

In an exclusive ENQUIRER interview from his Beech Island, S.C., home, Brown denies hurting Tomi Rae. But he agrees with his wife that the arresting officers wanted to make him look bad.

"They took a terrible picture of me on purpose," the superstar insists.

"The police didn't treat me real good. I feel disgusted they would allow something like that to happen.

"They took me away with my night clothes on. They wouldn't let me comb my hair!"

Tomi Rae, the mother of Brown's 2-and-a-half-year-old son, James Brown II, said she and the singer began arguing in their bedroom at their mansion after returning home from a road trip January 28.

"We started fighting in bed, you know, the usual things couples fight over -- not enough sex, the food not being cooked right, not singing good enough," she said.

"He smashed our wedding picture to the floor. He said, 'It's over!' There were still unpacked suitcases from our trip on the floor.

"He pushed me into the suitcases. There was glass from the smashed picture and I got cut.

"He was very angry with me. I got scared and called 911."

After cops arrived and took her husband away in handcuffs, she was taken to the hospital.

But 24 hours later, she was ready to forgive her temperamental spouse.

"James Brown is my mentor. My professor," she told us. "He's under a lot of pressure. His mother is dying. It was when I called him a 'son-of- a-bitch,' which he literally took to refer to his mother, that he blew up.

"All couples fight. It got a little out of hand. He didn't mean to hurt me."

Brown insists that he didn't harm her at all.

"I didn't see any bruises or cuts. Nobody else did either," he said.

"She made a mistake. She wanted attention and she got it. She's a very young person. She's having problems."

Brown has a history of domestic violence.

He was arrested three times for beating his previous wife Adrienne. She died in 1996, two days after she underwent cosmetic surgery.

Following his latest run-in with the law, he was released on bail and ordered to stay away from his wife. If convicted of domestic violence, he could be fined $500 and face 30 days in jail.

But Tomi Rae says she is ready to take him back.

"I love him," she told The ENQUIRER.

"I'll always be there for him."

Brown is not as optimistic about a future reconciliation.

"I don't think we'll be getting back together," he told The ENQUIRER. "I doubt it. I don't believe so.

"I just don't see that happening. I wish Tomi Rae a lot of luck."