Soul legend James Brown is set to receive the KENNEDY CENTER HONORS lifetime achievement award next month (DEC03) - angering women's rights campaigners upset at his status as an accused wife-beater.

The Sex Machine legend has never been convicted of violence against women, but he was arrested three times for allegedly hitting his late wife ADRIENNE.

Brown has also settled several lawsuits alleging sexual harassment against him.

And female rights advocates are outraged that Brown is now being honoured with the coveted award, according to gossip website PAGE SIX.

KAY MIXON, president of the COMBY CENTER for abused women where Adrienne stayed a few times, says, "It's a disgrace that the Kennedy Center is giving him this award.

"Everyone else who's getting it should feel insulted. He is a batterer. He didn't batter her just once, but over and over again."

But Brown's lawyer, DEBORAH OPRI, says, "It's cheaper to throw some money their way than to pay attorneys.

"It's women trying to make a buck. I'm a woman and I can say that. James Brown is a good man."

Brown will be honoured alongside actress Carol Burnett and singer LORETTA LYNN.

05/11/2003 16:59