Brian McKnight has settled a lawsuit from his estranged daughter over claims he “maliciously defamed” her on social media by lying about her having an affair with her own cousin.
According to documents obtained by Radar Online on Wednesday (May 3), the singer’s daughter Briana filed the lawsuit against her father in 2020, accusing him of being motivated by “animosity” when he told his followers that “she had some years earlier, and while a minor, engaged in sexual relations with an older cousin.”
In her suit, Briana claimed the issue started in 2019 when she decided to share “aspects of her perceptions of growing up with an unnamed absent father on her personal Instagram page.” Though she allegedly didn’t even give a clue as to who he was, McKnight responded by “publicly stating that Briana was a promiscuous and incestuous minor, and thereby (he hoped) undermining Briana’s credibility regarding a post that did not even identify him.”
His post reportedly said: “And unfortunately along the way, a couple years ago I caught wind that there was an older cousin who was above 18 who was quite possibly having sex with her.” He also reportedly alleged that Briana’s mother, who he’d had an affair with while he was married to someone else, “only had a child with” him “for money in the first place.”
Briana denied any such activity in her lawsuit, which stated: “Briana had never engaged in any sexual contact of any kind with any relative of any age while a minor or otherwise.” She also added that she doesn’t believe anyone ever even told McKnight anything of the sort and that he was simply making it up.
In his response, McKnight denied all allegations of wrongdoing, arguing that his statements were “substantially true” and he wasn’t speaking of malice. He demanded the entire case be thrown out, but it was instead set to go to trial. However, documents show that both parties agreed to dismiss the lawsuit in February.