CHICAGO – A federal judge dismissed a woman's lawsuit that claimed singer James Brown (search) was to blame for her suffering from Graves' disease (search) because he allegedly raped her 17 years ago.
In Jacque Hollander's (search) lawsuit, which was filed in January and sought $106 million in damages, she claimed she was an aspiring songwriter working as a publicist for Brown in 1988, when the famed rhythm and blues singer allegedly raped her at gunpoint in South Carolina. Brown's attorney has denied he raped Hollander.
U.S. District Court Judge Sidney I. Schenkier dismissed the lawsuit Wednesday in Chicago. Schenkier's decision cited an Illinois law that required such lawsuits be filed within two years of an alleged act.
Hollander's attorney, Donald Rosen, said his client would appeal.
He acknowledged the statute of limitation had expired, but argued the lawsuit was still valid because Hollander's doctor told her in January 2003 that 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's attorney, Debra Opri, welcomed the ruling and said she wasn't concerned about an appeal.
"It was a frivolous lawsuit in this court and it will be frivolous in any court," Opri said. "A stupid case is a stupid case."
Brown, known as the "Godfather of Soul," 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.