Late great Ray Charles has become the focus of a court hearing aiming to establish if he's the father of an ex-mistress' teenage son.

Unemployed MARY ANNE DEN BOK has requested a giant increase of $57,000 (GBP30,000) a month in child support payments from Charles' estate, but the singer's lawyers have responded by questioning her sexual history.

Den Bok sued Charles' estate in August (04) - two months after his death - in a bid to boost child support payments for her son COREY by 20-fold, from $3,000 (GBP1,500) to $60,000 (GBP31,570), to keep him in the style to which he was accustomed.

She claimed the original sum the executor of Charles' estate, Joe Adams, began paying when the singer died was "vastly inadequate and insufficient" to pay Corey's expenses.

However, Den Bok agreed in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday (21DEC04) to answer intimate questions on 4 January (05) at the offices of lawyers for Charles' estate, after they urged Judge THOMAS STOEVER to make her testify.

The estate's executor is questioning whether Charles actually fathered Corey, even though the 17-year-old boy is listed as his son in his will.

22/12/2004 17:22