Who Was James Brown's Wife Deidre Jenkins? Everything About Her As Daughters Explain Why They Forgave Dad After Seeing Him Beat Their Mom

James Brown, a superstar and loving father, was also a flawed husband, as revealed by his daughters Deanna Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown, who forgave him for abusing their mother..

Updated on Feb 21, 2024  |  01:51 PM IST |  128K
James Brown daughter explains why they forgive thier dad Wife
Exploring Who James Brown's Wife Deidre Jenkins Is (PC: IMDb)

Trigger Warning: This article includes references to domestic violence 

Although James Brown was a superstar and a loving father, he was also a flawed husband. On Friday, James' daughters Deanna Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown opened up to PEOPLE about forgiving their father after he abused their mother, Deidre Jenkins, growing up.

Who is Deidre Jenkins?

Deidre Jenkins is tight-lipped when it comes to disclosing details about her personal life. There is no information about her parents, siblings and education. Deidre is famous as the second wife of James Brown. Brown was a renowned singer, songwriter, and dancer. 

James Brown and Deidre Jenkins dated for a while before exchanging their marriage vows on October 22, 1970, before their family members and friends. After marriage, the duo appeared in several events together, and their chemistry was uncanny. They were blessed with two daughters named Yamma Brown and Deanna Brown Thomas. 

Deidre Jenkins (Getty)

Unfortunately, her marriage to James Brown was short-lived. They parted ways in 1979 after living together for 9 years. Domestic violence was cited as the reason for the separation. The divorce was finalized in January 1981. Yamma Brown has published a memoir titled Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me, which chronicles the horrible experience Deidre went through.


Since the divorce, Deidre has disappeared from the limelight, and she prefers to lead a private life. However, she pops up on the Instagram page of her daughter once in a while. It is not clear if she is married or single. James Brown moved on, and he re-married two times. Unfortunately, the singer is no more as he succumbed to pneumonia-related complications in 2006.

James Brown's daughters explain why they forgave him after seeing him beat their mom

During an interview with PEOPLE, Yamma Brown opened up about why she and her sister Deanna Brown Thomas forgave their father even after he abused their mother, Deidre Jenkins. She said, "When you see a family member being hurt, you're not feeling the best about the person that's hurting them." She continued, "I was flat-out upset, mad with my dad at that moment. I still go back to that place every now and then, not to belittle my dad, but flashing back over my own life and the domestic violence situation in my life, thinking how much of that shaped me."

James Brown (PC: Getty Images)

In a four-part docuseries on James Brown's life and career, which premiered Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on A&E and is directed by Deborah Riley Draper, Yamma recalls the last time she saw him hit her mother and she jumped in to stop him. She was around 6 years old when it happened.

"I talk about it in the sense that it happened. It is an unfortunate time in anybody's situation, anybody's life. If they've ever had to go through domestic violence, they know what that's like. And it shows that he was human because he was flawed, but it also is a time to show grace," she said of her famous father, who died of congestive heart failure caused by pneumonia at age 73 in 2006.

Yamma continued, "That's how I think about it, in order to move on from that space, you do have to talk about it, you do have to acknowledge that it happened."

Deannasaid that she knew her father's presence was intense but she assured PEOPLE that he never turned his rage on his daughters. "There was a time when I didn't like my father. I didn't like him because of this type of behavior. I saw a lot growing up. I heard a lot growing up that could have damaged me for a lifetime," she stated.


She further added, "He never had any type of rage towards us because we were his children. That was a situation between a husband and a wife. There's different type of love, different type of circumstances."

Yamma later explained that Brown did apologize to their mother. "My dad did apologize to my mom. Not to say that that was something that just erased everything, but also knowing that he had compassion in his heart and my mom was receptive to that."

Disclaimer: If you need support or know someone who is struggling with domestic violence or assault or abuse, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist, NGO or speak to someone about it. There are several helplines available for the same.

ALSO READ: Who Are James Brown's Daughters? All About Deanna-Yamma Brown As They Say There Would Be No MJ Or Usher Without Their Dad

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