James Brown: 'I Would Never Hurt Wife'

updated 01/30/2004 at 12:00 AM EST

originally published 01/30/2004 2:27PM

A cleaned-up and freshly coifed James Brown was released from jail on his own recognizance Thursday, a day after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence after an argument with his wife, according to police in Aiken, S.C.

The "Godfather of Soul," 70, is due in court Feb. 26. If convicted of criminal domestic violence, he could receive a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and up to 30 days behind bars.

A police report said that over the weekend, Brown pushed his wife, Tomi Rae, 33, to the floor in a bedroom at their residence in Beech Island, S.C., and she fell on luggage. She had scratches and bruises on one arm and on her hip, and she was taken to a hospital for treatment, Reuters reports.

The president of Brown's management company, Intrigue Music Management, issued a statement, quoting Brown as saying: "I would never hurt my wife. I love her very much."

Brown's attorney, Jim Huff, told the news service that his client was released with no conditions and no restrictions. "In fact, although extremely unusual, Tomi Rae requested that there be no restrictions placed on Mr. Brown's bond and has expressed her love for him," Huff said in a statement.

Brown -- whose hits include "I Got You (I Feel Good)," "Sex Machine" and "Living in America" -- served a two-and-a-half-year prison term after a 1988 arrest on drug and assault charges and was convicted of a drug-related offense in 1998 for which he entered a drug treatment program (after pleading no contest to firearms charges).

He also was previously accused of beating his wife, Adrienne, in 1995, reports Reuters, and he served nearly three years in prison after he was arrested in 1988 for leading police on a car chase between South Carolina and Georgia.

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