James Brown Busted in Spousal Spat

01/29/2004 11:05AM

"Godfather of Soul" James Brown, 70, was arrested in his South Carolina home Wednesday after he allegedly pushed his wife, Tomi Rae Brown, 33, to the floor during an argument, authorities tell the Associated Press.

Brown, who only last month was honored at the Kennedy Center as "one of the most influential musicians of the past 50 years," has been charged with criminal domestic violence and is set to remain behind bars pending a bond hearing Thursday morning, according to Aiken County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank.

Quoting police reports, Frank said that Brown shoved his wife during an argument in a bedroom at the couple's home in Beech Island, 70 miles southwest of Columbia. She had scratches and bruises to her right arm and hip and was taken to a hospital, Frank added.

James Brown's publicist, Simone Smalls, declined to comment Wednesday. Meanwhile, several observers have compared Brown's newest and highly unflattering mugshot to that of Nick Nolte's, after the actor was arrested on DUI charges.

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 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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