Kirk Franklin has his first interview Wednesday (March 17) since his estranged son Kerrion Franklin leaked their profanity-filled phone call.
The Grammy-winning gospel singer and his wife Tammy Franklin appeared on the Tamron Hall Show to discuss the deep-seated “tension and challenges” the family has faced privately that have become more public over the weekend. During a heated call, which Kerrion recorded and leaked via Instagram on Sunday, Franklin is heard yelling that he’d “put my foot in your a–” and “break your neck” if he was ever disrespected. In his apology video that he released on Twitter the following day, he explained that he’s had a “toxic” relationship with his 32-year-old son over the years and that he’s attempted to remedy their problems through counseling and therapy.
During Wednesday’s interview, Franklin starts off by explaining his and Tammy’s relationship with Kerrion’s mother, Shawn Ewing, whom he describes as an “incredible woman,” and how the three started realizing that Kerrion needed help when he was a teenager.
“We started him in therapy and counseling, and we’ve had him in and out of the counseling and therapy for over 20 years. As Kerrion became a grown man, his disrespect became more aggressive,” Franklin told Hall.
The 51-year-old artist later identified Jon Drummond, his close friend and former member of Franklin’s gospel group The Family, as the third person heard in the leaked call, saying Drummond was there “to help with the situation.” “With family, we’ve been trying to rally for years to try to help. Now that he’s about to be 33, as a grown man, the relationship can at times become very agitated and very frustrated.”
In terms of the parental abuse allegations Kerrion made in his Instagram post, Franklin says he’s confident that he, his wife Tammy, their family and Kerrion’s mother have never had any instances of physical abuse “that concerns me or even makes me uncomfortable.”
“I respect Kerrion. I’m not Kerrion’s equal, though. I’m not his equal, I’m his dad,” the singer added. “I can’t hear you when you are extremely aggressive when we’re communicating.”
Hall noted that Kerrion did not respond for comment regarding the TV interview.