Brian McKnight Tells His Side of the Story after His Kids Accused Him of Abandoning Them

Brian McKnight is responding to his older kids’ accusations that he abandoned them. The R&B hitmaker told his side of the story in a seven-minute video posted to Instagram.

Fans were shocked a few days ago when Brian’s son Brian “BJ” McKnight Jr., 30, and daughter Briana McKnight, 17, accused the singer on their respective Instagram pages of being a deadbeat dad.

Brian McKnight flanked by his sons Niko (L) and BJ (R) at the Hollywood Christmas Parade in California on Nov. 29, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

Brian McKnight flanked by his sons Niko (L) and BJ (R) at the Hollywood Christmas Parade in California on Nov. 29, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

BJ, his 27-year-old brother Niko, and Briana are Brian’s children from his previous marriage to Julie McKnight, whom he divorced in 2003. The singer married his present wife, Leilani, in 2017.

Brian McKnight and now-wife Dr Leilani Malia at the 29th Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala in Kentucky on May 5, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

Brian McKnight and now-wife Dr Leilani Malia at the 29th Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala in Kentucky on May 5, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

THE ACCUSATIONS

According to BJ, their father abandoned them all and paid no attention when they could not sustain the same lifestyle he introduced to them.

“I don’t think there is any situation that merits the way my father has chosen to treat my brother, my sisters, and his grandchildren, one of which being his first born’s, first born son, who also bares our name. It’s insane to me. To have absolutely no empathy for the type of life be introduced us to, only to become to resent us for that life catching up with us. It breaks my heart, but not for myself, specifically for my siblings, and my children.”

Brian McKnight performs onstage in Phoenix, Arizona on Mar. 18, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

Brian McKnight performs onstage in Phoenix, Arizona on Mar. 18, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

In her post, Briana said she had never been “daddy’s little girl,” always taking second, third, fourth, or fifth place in Brian’s heart. The teenager also thanked her brothers for stepping up and being the father figure in her life.

Wasting no time, Brian addressed the accusations in a now-deleted video captured in part by The Shade Room.

View this post on Instagram

"Daddy’s little girl" was never really a thing for me. Nobody understands what I’ve been through except for my siblings. Believe it or not, I’m not always the person I seem to be. I’m not always happy and most of the time I’m battling my own demons just like everyone else. I grew up thinking that the things that happened to me and my dad's relationship was my fault. I grew up thinking that he doesn’t want to come to visit me because he doesn’t love me. Constantly put behind other kids that he would call his own while I’m cast into a land far far away in the back of his mind. It sucks knowing that someone else, who’s not even blood related to you comes before you in every single way. It sucks knowing that my phone calls have to go through a stranger I barely know, that my text messages are read without a response, and that my stepmother tells me that they “wish the best for me”. It kills me to know that it’s so hard for me and my siblings to get a word in. Not one word. At a very young age, I was always second place in my father’s heart. Maybe even third, fourth, or fifth, depending on the situation. My father hasn’t called to wish me a “happy birthday” in years and yet I sit by the phone every single year hoping that one day his heart will change. I’m so fortunate that I have two brothers who are father figures to me. Who celebrate me and love me every single day and that we make up the time that we lost. The anger and the sadness that I hold in my heart every day over this is sickening. It hurts knowing that my brothers went through this at my age (and are still going through it) and that my little sister is going through this at her young age. I don’t usually write things like this but I feel like enough is enough and like BJ, I want to share my side of the story. I hope that there’s someone out there that has gone or is going through the same thing. Some teenage girl who deals with this shit constantly who can relate to me and tell her side of the story and know that she’s not alone.

A post shared by bri mcknight 彡☆ (@brimcknight) on

THE RESPONSE

The "Love of My Life" singer made it clear that he never abandoned his kids but regretted making them feel entitled.

“I’ve never done anything adverse to my children whatsoever. I’ve always been there. …I guess one of my only faults is that I gave my children everything that I didn’t have in hopes that they would appreciate it because I know how much I would’ve appreciated it when I was their age. I would tell you as parents out there, entitling your children is probably one of the worse things you could do and I know I’m guilty of that.”

(Happier Times) Niko McKnight, Brian McKnight Jr., & Brian McKnight perform at the Brown Theatre on July 10, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky | Photo: Getty Images

(Happier Times) Niko McKnight, Brian McKnight Jr., & Brian McKnight perform at the Brown Theatre on July 10, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky | Photo: Getty Images

BRIAN REVEALS MORE DETAILS

Brian, 50, further revealed that before cutting BJ and Niko off completely, he gave them an apartment when they were 25 and 22, respectively. The singer also said he gave them a 2-year period during which he paid for everything and told them to get jobs, “grow up,” and be men.

According to the “Back at One” singer, by the end of those two years, his sons had not carried out any of his instructions, and he cut them off financially.

THE TROUBLE WITH BRIANA

Per MadameNoire, Brian added that his wife, Leilani, offered his sons a job at the local children’s hospital where she worked, but they declined because they didn’t want to stop smoking marijuana.

Addressing his strained relationship with daughter Briana, Brian revealed that things turned sour between them after he called Arizona children’s protective services following reports that Briana was having a sexual relationship with an older cousin.

Following that incident, Brian claimed, he never heard anything from his daughter again, and her mother blocked him from her social media.

Family can be complicated, and things tend to get messier when it’s all in the spotlight but here’s hoping the McKnights gets to sort out their differences very soon.

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