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This past summer, we wrote about the tax troubles with the Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles franchise. As a brief update, the Georgia Department Revenue claimed that Knight’s son Shanga Hankerson, who is the man behind the brand, had allegedly stolen more than $650,000 in sales and withholding taxes. Authorities believe Hankerson has presumably used the money for his personal use.

And although Knight was not implicated in any of the charges, in an attempt to save herself from some of the inevitable fall out, Gladys wanted her name removed from the restaurant chain. She sued her son and then issued a cease and desist.

But her son is not having it.

According to The Daily Mail, Knight ordered her son to remove her name from the outlets. But Hankerson is actively blocking his mother from the business. Court documents filed on his behalf say:

“Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, [sic] lack of mental capacity to rescind the license agreement granted to Defendants.”

And although an August 17 email said that Hankerson had “no desire to fight his mother for use of her name” he has yet to change the branding on the restaurants.

The licensing deal between Knight and her son is ten years old but expired in 2009. They continued to operate under an oral agreement. But after this year’s alleged criminal activity, Knight was over it.

And we were hoping they would have managed to do this without all the mess…

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” 

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