Gladys Knight no longer wants to be associated with her son’s chicken and waffle joints – and is suing him to have her name removed.

Gladys Knight Sues Son

Knight wants her name and likeness removed from all of her son Shanga Hankerson‘s Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles restaurants. The legendary singer is suing Hankerson to have her name removed from all signs and memorabilia, and wants her son to stop using her recipes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The Restaurants are in free fall and their decline necessarily has the collateral effect of damaging Knight’s Intellectual Property and Knight’s reputation,” Knight’s suit states.

Knight further explained in a statement that Hankerson’s legal issues pertaining to the eating establishments have led her to file the lawsuit.

“Until the legal issues are resolved it is best to remove my name because I do not have an interest in or influence over the restaurants,” Knight said. “I have invested sixty-years of my life developing my craft, name and brand and I do not want my name associated with the business at this time.”

Back in June, Georgia’s Department of Revenue accused Hankerson of tax evasion and theft. It claimed that he had stolen more than $650,000 in sales taxes in addition to withholding taxes that are owed to the state of Georgia from his Atlanta-area restaurants, according to a press release.

“After penalties and interest the total exceeds $1 million,” the department said. “The department further alleges that Hankerson used these funds for personal use.”


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Search warrants were served at all three Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles locations, and at a corporate office. Hankerson’s bank accounts and a trio of luxury vehicles were seized by revenue officials.

Knight was never implicated in the alleged tax crimes, as she has never been involved in the restaurants’ business affairs.

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