In an exclusive interview on the Wednesday, March 17 edition of “Tamron Hall,” gospel star Kirk Franklin joined the show with his wife Tammy Collins and discussed, for the first time, the leaked phone call in which listeners can hear Franklin threatening his eldest son, Kerrion Franklin, during a heated conversation. Audio from the call was shared on social media by Kerrion and has been viral ever since. In his first interview since the call’s release, Franklin candidly shared the current state of the father-son relationship and commented on the accusations of parental abuse. The show reached out to Kerrion Franklin for comment but did not hear back before our show taped.
Franklin on his long-standing challenges within his relationship with Kerrion:
“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…So you know this is them that we’ve been trying to rally for years to try to help 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…but I’m not going to stop trying to help, you know, he’s my son. 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.”
Franklin on if he respects his son:
“I respect Kerrion. I’m not Kerrion’s equal though. I’m not his equal, I’m his dad. 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, and that’s why a lot of times, Kerrion and I haven’t talked sometimes for a year or two.”
Collins on the controversial phone call:
“Well, you know I wasn’t a part of the conversation as my husband has expressed although there have been some people who assume that I was. I can tell you that it has been a very hard and difficult situation with our family for years to the point where my husband has to have someone on the phone to help, because it has become that combustible, I would say. Even the counselor got on the phone that day, there were apologies exchanged, there was a desire to continue or, start back, I would say, counseling. And so, when there is challenges, and when they start off young as early as, you know, junior high, and then now it’s continuing as an adult, you are now communicating and dealing not only with your child, but with your adult child, a grown man. And so the aggressiveness and the nature is different.”
Franklin on the disappointed reactions he received from his fans:
“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.”
Hit the flip to see what Kirk Franklin had to say about his son’s accusations of parental abuse.