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In his first interview since the scandal broke involving profanity-laced audio leaked by his estranged son, Kerrion Franklin, Kirk Franklin, along with his wife, Tammy Franklin, sat down with Tamron Hall where he offered insight into the heated conversation.

According to Hall, the interview was scheduled before the leaked audio began making its rounds social media, but Franklin decided to proceed with the interview anyway. During the sit-down, the gospel recording artist shared that he, his wife, and his co-parent, Shawn Ewing, began to notice that Kerrion was in need of counseling during his teenage years and they took steps to get him help.

“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,” Franklin shared. “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 went on to address allegations of parental abuse.

“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. 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 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. 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…”

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In a separate interview with The Heart Beat, Kerrion’s mother, Shawn Ewing, also addressed the scandal and echoed sentiments similar to the ones shared by Franklin regarding the “challenges” experienced by their son over the years.

“We’re here because some private information was leaked and Kirk kind of lost his cool. We talk about cancel culture and I was like, I can’t leave Kirk out here by himself on this one,” said Ewing. “I’m not saying that my son is not hurting from us being teenage parents. I’m not saying my son doesn’t have a testimony. But what I am saying is that you were not abandoned. No one abdicated their responsibility towards you. You are loved, Kerrion Franklin. We support you then. We support you now. We support you tomorrow, but there’s a way to deal with it. All we’ve tried to do is work through the issue, get our son to a point of being a productive citizen in society as well as having a good life. But things didn’t go that way and that’s okay because families go through things. But we don’t get to use a part of audio without going through the true history of counseling, therapy, godly counsel.”

You can watch the full clip from Ewing’s interview below.

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