Brian McKnight Talks 'Mutual' Beef, Lawsuit & Infant Son's Name

Brian McKnight Explains ‘Mutual’ Beef With His Kids, Daughter’s Lawsuit, And Why He’s Not Sorry For His Infant Son’s Name


Brian McKnight Explains 'Mutual' Beef With His Kids, Daughter's Lawsuit, And Why He's Not Sorry For His Infant Son's Name

Internet critics have backed away from the Brian McKnight backlash over resurfaced ‘new family’ praise. But McKnight is sparking up the viral conversation again after releasing a series of video statements on Thursday (May 11) and Friday (May 12).

RELATED: Stepchildren Come First? Here’s Why Brian McKnight Has Been Trending On Social Media All Week

The singer is unapologetic about his love for his wife, Leilani, and their blended family. At the same time, he’s also unmoved by the internet’s concerns over his estrangement from his biological children. The caption on his first post says there’s been “no abandonment, no made-up story, no false statements, and no defamation.” 

“There has been a lot of discussion online lately and talk about my family on social media. Typically I prefer not to give attention to the internet trolls, but now my family is being harassed online and accosted in public. Apparently, because some people can’t handle seeing my happily ever after. Coming after me is one thing, but the moment you come after my wife and our children is another story because even more important to me than defending my name is defending and protecting them.”

This isn’t the first time Brian has responded to “internet trolls” dragging him. Nearly a week ago, he shared screenshots of past posts from him and Leilani that feature his biological children in photos.

“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,” Brian wrote.


The Resurfaced Content That Got Brian McKnight Trending Last Week

The backlash McKnight faced in the last two weeks primarily centered on the singer’s overt expression of love for his wife, their second biological son together, and his stepdaughter Julia.

In a past interview, he stated that none of the beloved music he created before falling for Leilani had any meaning. He credited Julia for making him “a girl dad,” despite having an adult, biological daughter named Briana. McKnight even named his youngest child Brian McKnight Jr.–despite having an adult son already carrying that name.

Brian has four living biological children–his youngest with Leilani and three others, Brian Jr., Niko, and Briana, from two previous relationships. Leilani and Brian’s first son, Kekoa Matteo, passed away last year.


Brian McKnight Says He Changed His Will After His Biological Kids Blasted Him Online

McKnight spoke his statements with conviction in the clips released on Friday–elevating his tone when getting into the nitty gritty of his non-apology.

As for what he posts? Only the people he has active relationships with can partake in his limelight.

“There is a very simple reason why I post about some of my children on social media and not others,” Brian said. “The children that I do not currently have relationships with, I don’t post about them. Instead,  I post the children in which I do have relationships with, with whom I am proud of.”

He later flat-out refused to apologize for his approach to fatherhood and claimed his estrangement from his biological kids was “mutual.”

“I never abandoned anyone. Out estrangement was mutual, but those posts made any roads towards reconciliation and acknowledging them a dead issue and I changed my will the next day.”

The “posts” McKnight references came from son Brian Jr. and daughter Briana in 2019. At the time, the siblings released lengthy posts on Instagram with similar accusations of abandonment by their father.

Brian Mcknight Jr. wrote, in part:

“I can’t imagine abandoning my children, man. It’s hard not to imagine the psyche of a man who can truly just turn his back on his actual sons, on his actual blood and creations. It’s mind-boggling to me. 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 firtsborn’s, first born son who also bears our name. It’s insane to me. To have absolutely no empathy for the type of life he introduced us to, only to become to resent us for that life catching up to us.”

Meanwhile, Briana’s post highlighted her inability to relate to being a “girl dad” and the blame she felt for not having a relationship with McKnight.

Briana wrote, in part:

“I grew up thinking that he doesn’t want to come to visit me because he doesn’t love me. Constantly put behind other kids that he would call his own while I’m cast into a land far far away in the back of his mind. It sucks knowing that someone else, who’s not even blood-related to you comes before you in every single way. It sucks knowing that my phone calls have to go through a stranger I barely know, that my text messages are read without a response, and that my stepmother tells me that they “wish the best for me”. It kills me to know that it’s so hard for me and my siblings to get a word in.”

It’s unclear if McKnight took all three of his biological kids, Brian Jr., Niko, and Briana, out of his will or just the two responsible for the posts. However, the singer seems to insinuate that his estranged children are simultaneously trying to profit from and damage his reputation.

“I’ve spent the last 30-plus years building a recognized, respectable name and ironically, there are still people out there who are trying to smear my name while still carrying it, hoping to use it for their own benefit,” Brian said.



Brian McKnight Explains Defamation Lawsuit By His Daughter, Says He Agreed To Pay Her $318,000

In February of this year, McKnight and Briana reportedly mutually agreed to dismiss a defamation lawsuit she filed. Per Radar Online, the court documents say Briana claimed her father maliciously defamed her by saying she engaged in a sexual relationship with a male relative when she was a minor–a claim Briana denies.

In his Thursday post, the signer shared screenshots of what appears to be the court documents from their settlement. But, he also explained that they agreed to drop the suit after he made her a financial compensation of over $300,000.

“…She did not ask for an apology or even ask that I remove the alleged false statement from the internet. All she asked for and all she wanted was money. The case was dismissed before there was any decision on whether my statement about her was defamatory. We settled the case earlier this year, and I agreed to pay Briana some money, but here’s the interesting part. She sued me for defamation and breach of a million-dollar life insurance policy and I agreed to pay her $318,000 with no admission of any wrong-doing whatsoever.”

McKnight says Briana didn’t even require him to retract his statement.



Brian McKnight Says He Makes 'No Apologies' For Naming His Infant Son After Him

The resurfaced critiques put fresh eyes on Brian’s youngest child–given that he shares his name with his eldest brother. In his recorded statement, the R&B singer explained why he is unapologetic about repeating the name.

“I make absolutely no apologies for naming my son Brian. I want him and the world to know that he is the one who is my true legacy. So I’ll be over here continuing to love and protect my wife and out children as we continue to love our life.”


McKnight encouraged his 400,000+ Insta-followers to see his whole perspective on YouTube in a five-minute-plus video.

At the time of publication, his biological children had not responded online.


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