Seeing Brian McKnight trend on Twitter for the rumored erasure of his older children—Brian Jr., Briana, Niko, and Clyde—and settle an alleged defamation lawsuit was not on this year’s Bingo card, but alas.
Last week, Radar Online reported the “Back At One” singer and his biological daughter, Briana, 21, settled a 2020 lawsuit where she claimed he “maliciously defamed” her on social media by alluding she was in an incestuous relationship and labeling her “promiscuous.” McKnight’s since-deleted post read, “She had some years earlier, and while a minor, engaged in sexual relations with an older cousin.” Cincinnati Enquirer noted that Briana had to disclose her entire sexual history in court.
Although the two have reportedly reached a private settlement, other moments of strife between the crooner and his older children surfaced on social media last weekend, leading McKnight to address the hearsay via Instagram.
In the caption of a shared photo of his blended family, the 53-year-old wrote, “Not sure how these posts that have been sitting here this whole time were left out of the false narrative that is trending. Abandonment? There’s always more to every story. Stay tuned.”
Not long before the alleged lawsuit, Briana spoke up about their estranged relationship with McKnight.
“‘Daddy’s little girl’ was never really a thing for me. Nobody understands what I’ve been through except for my siblings,” she wrote in the caption of a post in 2019. “Believe it or not, I’m not always the person I seem to be. I’m not always happy and most of the time I’m battling my own demons just like everyone else.”
She continued, “I grew up thinking that the things that happened to me and my dad’s relationship was my fault […] At a very young age, I was always second place in my father’s heart. I don’t usually write things like this but I feel like enough is enough.”
However, the following year, McKnight posted a video of his stepdaughter, where it seemed like Briana’s existence didn’t matter. “Jules I became a girl dad because of YOU and I couldn’t have asked for a better daughter […] Here’s to you Jules the perfect daughter I always wanted,” he wrote.
As for McKnight’s sons, fans and onlookers found fault in McKnight naming his newborn Brian, even though he already has an older son as his namesake. In 2019, Brian McKnight Jr. also took to Facebook to open up abou his estranged relationship with his father.
“I don’t think there is any situation that merits the way my father has chosen to treat my brother, my sisters, and his grandchildren, one of which being his first born’s, first born son, who also bares our name,” he wrote. “It’s insane to me. To have absolutely no empathy for the type of life be [sic] introduced us to, only to become to resent us for that life catching up with us. It breaks my heart, but not for myself, specifically for my siblings, and my children. They don’t deserve this at all.”
McKnight Sr. declared in a 2020 interview that he “never even liked anyone” before meeting his current wife, Leilani, and only listed their combined children in his Instagram bio—fueling fans vitriol even further.
See more from Black Twitter, who united in solidarity against the singer over the weekend.