What do you do when your son tarnishes your good name with a corrupt restaurant business? You sue him. That's what famed singer Gladys Knight is doing, according to TMZ. Knight has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Shanga Hankerson, her own flesh and blood, to have her name removed from the Gladys Knight's Signature Chicken & Waffles chain.
Hankerson operated the Atlanta-based chain before a Georgia Department of Revenue raid in June. Authorities targeted the singer's son for allegedly "stealing over $650,000 in both sales and withholding tax." With penalties and interest, GDR officials say Hankerson owes more than $1 million. Following the raid, he was arrested and released on bail, and the restaurants are under new management.
Knight was not implicated in the allegations, and a GDR official told Channel 2 in Atlanta she was "totally in the clear." A statement from a spokesperson said "her main concern is for her family's well-being, and she is making sure the family has the guidance they need to assess the situation and move forward."
Currently, it appears moving forward means stripping any evidence of her association with the chain. In addition to having her name removed, TMZ reports Knight wants all memorabilia from the restaurants returned to her.
Hankerson launched the concept in 1997, and there are now two locations in the Atlanta area — a third recently closed. It's unclear how (or if) the restaurants will continue to operate going forward. Eater has reached out to the chain for more information.
• Gladys Knight: I'm Not Chicken to Sue My Son [TMZ]
• Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles Raided, Temporarily Shuttered [EATL]
• Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles in Lithonia Permanently Closed [AJC]
• All Lawsuits Coverage [E]