Kirk Franklin and wife Tammy Collins joined Tamron Hall on her self-titled talk show to publicly discuss the controversial conversation with his oldest son that went viral over the weekend.
Kirk Franklin has discussed his relationship with his son Kerrion following a very public fallout. In his first interview following the leak of his expletive-filled phone call, the gospel singer admitted there has been deep-rooted issue between him and his son that has been going on for years, but he will never give up on him despite the tensions.
“He’s my son, he’s my firstborn, and I never want him to feel what I felt not having a father,” Kirk told Tamron Hall. “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.”
Detailing Kerrion’s “aggressive” behavior that led to their feud, the father of four shared, “Early on, Tammy, Shawn [Ewing] and myself, we started to realize that there needed to be some deeper help with things that was happening with our son and so when he was a teenager, we started him in therapy and counseling and we’ve had him in and out of counseling and therapy for over 20 years, and as Kerrion became a grown man, when he became a grown man, his disrespect became more aggressive.”
Kirk claimed that he has “been trying to rally for years to try to help” his son, “and like I said now that he’s about to be 33 as a grown man the relationship at times can become very agitated and very frustrated.” Though the counseling and therapy didn’t seem to be successful just yet, the 51-year-old added, “I’m not going to stop trying to help, you know, he’s my son.”
During the interview, Kirk also denied his son’s allegations that he had abused him. “I love my son and I have tried very privately to keep all of the areas that we’ve been working with him in counseling as a private matter,” he explained. “We’ve been having challenges with my oldest son for years. And again, as he’s gotten older, his disrespect has become more aggressive. But I’m confident that his mother, myself, Tammy, my family, there’s never been anything physical that concerns me, or even makes me uncomfortable because I know the truth, he knows the truth, and I love him.”
Kirk stressed though that he needs his son to show him some respect. “And as a grown man I am still this dad and when it becomes aggressive, I still have to have a level of respect, I got to have – I’m still your daddy,” he added. “And you – there’s still got to be respect and there can’t be levels of disrespect but I’m confident that there hasn’t been any physical abuse. I mean, we’ve had therapy and counseling sessions and documentation long enough to know that the deeper issue is, we’ve been just trying to help our son.”
Addressing fans who were disappointed at him for using profanities during his phone conversation with his son, Kirk said, “People have every right to be disappointed to hear me use that language, I’m disappointed in myself for using that language. And at the same time, I’m human. I’m a father, and I’m a father that has a son, and I have a history, I have a history of a toxic, challenging, turbulent relationship with a grown man now that I’m still trying to fight for. And in that fight it can become so difficult that my humanity, unfortunately that day, won. And I’m going to keep trying, while still continuing to admit that I am an imperfect man fighting to serve a perfect God.”
Kerrion previously defended leaking the phone call with his father, saying, “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.”
Meanwhile, Steve Harvey has come to Kirk’s defense, telling people who are judging the singer that “ain’t nobody better than Kirk.” The comedian went on warning the critics, “So ya’ll get off Kirk Franklin’s back. Kirk don’t owe none of you all no apology.”
Praying that healing happens for the Franklin family.