Brian McKnight has settled a lawsuit from his estranged daughter over claims he “maliciously defamed” her on social media by lying about her having an affair with her own cousin.
via: Radar Online
McKnight has recently been criticized for praising his stepchildren while ignoring his daughter and older sons.
According to court documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, Brian’s daughter Briana filed a bombshell lawsuit against the singer in 2020.
In her complaint, Briana claimed that her father “maliciously defamed” her on social media. She accused Brian of being motivated by “animosity” when he “publicly humiliated” her “falsely” representing to his followers that “she had some years earlier, and while a minor, engaged in sexual relations with an older cousin.”
Briana’s mother is a woman named Patricia Driver. Brian’s daughter was born while he married to his then-wife Julie. Brian and Julia share two sons named Niko and BJ.
Brian has since gone on to marry his current wife Leilani Malia Mendoza, who has two kids from a previous relationship. Brian and Leilani welcomed their own son into the world this year.
In her lawsuit, Briana said she had a close relationship with Niko and BJ as a child. She claimed her relationship with Brian has been a rollercoaster for years.
“At times their relationship was cordial, and at times it became strained or all but non-existent,” the suit said. Briana said that the two never aired their dirty laundry. In addition, she said she never publicized the identity of her father or his celebrity status.
The suit said the parties had little contact in 2015 and none in 2016. She said in 2017, the two were in sporadic touch but the world did not know about her being his daughter.
Briana said she reached out to Briana and his new wife in 2018. She claimed to have wanted to establish a bond with the singer. Briana accused him of dismissing her efforts and “did not see or meaningfully communicate with her.”
In 2019, Briana said she decided to share “aspects of her perceptions of growing up with an unnamed absent father on her personal Instagram page.” She explained the post did not mention Brian by his name, did no describe him as a celebrity, did not refer to his profession, or identity him in any way. “In that post, she simply described her personal feelings as the daughter of an unnamed father who had withdrawn from her.”
Briana said despite not naming Brian, he decided to respond to the post by attacking her on his account. She said he widely circulated a vicious lie to cause her humiliation and emotional distress.
She said he sought to preserve his image among his fans by “publicly stating that Briana was a promiscuous and incestuous minor, and thereby (he hoped) undermining Briana’s credibility regarding a post that did not even identify him.”
Brian said to his followers, “And unfortunately along the way, a couple years ago I caught wind that there was an older cousin who was above 18 who was quite possibly having sex with her.”
He claimed to have “called…to the state office for children’s affairs there in Arizona” and that he “never heard anything back.”
Briana’s lawsuit said, “Briana had never engaged in any sexual contact of any kind with any relative of any age while a minor or otherwise.” Further, she said she doesn’t believe anyone ever told Brian the claim.
Briana said Brian also said her mother “only had a child with” him “for money in the first place.”
In response, Brian denied all allegations of wrongdoing. He argued his statements were substantially true and he had no malice when he spoke. He demanded the entire case be thrown out.
In February, Briana and Brian agreed to dismiss the lawsuit before trial.