CHICAGO – A woman has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that famed rhythm and blues singer James Brown (search) is to blame for her suffering from Graves' disease because he raped her at gunpoint in South Carolina in 1988.
A lawyer for Brown called Jacque Hollander (search)'s allegations "rag sheet fodder," adding that the woman's claims were dismissed as frivolous by judge in 2002 who also cleared Brown of another woman's sexual harassment allegations. Attorney Debra Opri also said Brown never raped Hollander.
"This is what you call a shakedown in its most stupid form," Opri said. "It's too little, too late and baseless."
In the lawsuit, Hollander claims she was an aspiring songwriter working as a publicist for Brown in 1988, when while riding with him in a van, Brown pulled over, grabbed a shotgun and raped her. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago (search) seeks $106 million in damages.
Hollander's attorney, Donald Rosen, acknowledged the statute of limitation on rape ran out long ago, but he said the lawsuit is valid because Hollander's doctor recently told her the thyroid disease she was diagnosed with in 2000 was caused by the alleged attack.
According to the National Graves' Disease Foundation, stress can contribute to the onset of the disease, but many times the exact cause is unknown.
Brown served nearly three years in prison after he was arrested in 1988 convicted of assault and leading police on a car chase through parts of Georgia and South Carolina.