In the words of Kirk Franklin’s song “I Smile,” today’s a new day, but there is no sunshine. At least not at this moment and until he and his son, Kerrion, truly mend their estranged relationship.
Over the weekend, Franklin’s eldest son released audio of a heated argument between himself and the gospel star by way of an Instagram post. In the clip of their conversation, the Grammy Award-winning artist is heard vehemently swearing at his son saying things like “get your skinny motherfu**in a**” and “before I put my foot in your a**” and “I will break your neck, ni**a, don’t you ever disrespect me!” Meanwhile, his 32-year-old son is heard disagreeing and repeatedly telling his father “I dare” before eventually saying, “Shut the f**k up! I’m grown” as his father yells on the phone before the call’s abrupt ending.
In the caption of his Instagram post, Kerrion wrote, “This is why I’m done. No father should speak to their children like this. If I have any issues it’s because Of this type of treatment that ii deal with behind closed doors. Hanging up in my face, No apology, no compassion, no effort. Stop telling me to go home to my family I don’t even know where they live. I don’t think I’ll ever trust my father to be alone around him ever again. I didn’t want to do this.”
He added: “I probably won’t release the entire recording because it’s too embarrassing that Im even dealing with this. No matter what ppl think I pray my dad deals with his deep hatred toward me. I don’t feel safe around him at all. This recording is recent it is not from 2018 just to clarify. Im going to learn from these experiences, live my life in peace and make beautiful art.”
Shortly after the audio was leaked, Franklin, 51, issued a public apology to his fans and followers for using profane language and losing his temper after feeling “extremely disrespected.” Many onlookers have sided with Kerrion and agreed that a son should never experience that type of verbal abuse from their parent. Others didn’t see the need for Franklin to issue an apology for a personal and private matter.
Coincidentally, Franklin was scheduled to take part in the ongoing gospel music special of the Tamron Hall Show and gave an exclusive interview. During their discussion alongside his wife, Tammy, Kirk openly discussed how he and his son have experienced tension for decades, past efforts to seek help through counseling and therapy as a family, and how he’s not going to stop trying to help his son
“We’ve been trying to rally to try to help and now that he’s about to be 33 as a grown man the relationship at times can become very agitated and very frustrated in trying to help,” Franklin said to Hall. But I’m not going to stop trying to help. He’s my son, he’s my firstborn, and I never want him to feel what I felt not having a father. So even though it gets tense and tight, when he calls from time to time, I will answer his call even though I expect it to sometimes kind of derail. It’s important for me because what if that call is the call that things change. So I never know and I never want to give up.”
A second posting of audio was released by Kerrion and in the caption of the post, the aspiring artist alleges experiencing battery and physical abuse by the hand of his father. Franklin express his love for his son and pointed out that he is confident that there has “never been anything physical that concerns him” or happenings of parently abuse in the past.
When asked if he respects his son, Kerrion, Franklin candidly said yes, but explained how although there is respect, he and his son are not equal.
“Yes, I respect Kerrion. I’m not Kerrion’s equal though… I’m not his equal, I’m his dad,” he said frankly. “And when you talk to me, especially about things that you say that you want from me, I can’t hear you when you are extremely aggressive when we’re communicating. That’s why a lot of times Kerrion and I haven’t talked sometimes for a year or two.”
Since then Kerrion has defended his decision to leak the audio and posted some no-deleted Instagram Stories saying, “If my father won’t tell the truth let me live and let it go. Let me be 33 right. Nobody helps me financially. self made ii been on my own since 18. He got the recordings I didn’t record him without him knowing he knows I’m always recording and still provokingly talks to me wild very often too often. Not in front of pastors and counselors tho. It’s a new Day a New Chapter.”
Watch the full interview where Franklin’s wife also shares her thoughts on the matter and how the tension between her husband and step-song has affected the family. Kerrion has yet to tell his side of the story.