Frank Ocean responds to his dad’s $14 million lawsuit over gay slur claims
Frank Ocean has responded to a $14 million lawsuit from his own father.
The gay rap star was hit by the defamation lawsuit from his estranged dad Calvin Cooksey, over a blog essay that Ocean had posted online about homophobia.
In the blog, Ocean spoke about experiencing homophobia as a child, alleging that his father had used anti-gay slurs.
Ocean had written: “I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighborhood diner saying we wouldn’t be served because she was dirty.
“That was the last afternoon I saw my father and the first time I heard that word.”
In his lawsuit, Cooksey alleged that Ocean had made up the incident “for the financial success of Defendant’s new album Blonde, and to ruin his father”.
Ocean’s legal team filed a response to the lawsuit this week.
The response insists that “the statements made are true”, adding that “the [blog post] speaks for itself”.
Responding to a claim that Cooksey had been painted as a homophobic bigot, Ocean’s lawyers wrote: “Defendant lacks sufficient knowledge or information to determine the truth of the allegation that Plaitiff is not a homophobic bigot.”
It continues to allege that Cooksey’s libel claims are “unable to meet the burden of proof” and that the lawsuit “fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted”.
Ocean’s essay also cited the murders of gay men by the so-called Islamic State, the Orlando Pulse massacre, and homophobic sermons.
It said: “Many hate us and wish we didn’t exist. Many are annoyed by our wanting to be married like everyone else or use the correct restroom like everyone else.
“Many don’t see anything wrong with passing down the same old values that send thousands of kids into suicidal depression each year. So we say pride and we express love for who and what we are.
“I daydream on the idea that maybe all this barbarism and all these transgressions against ourselves is an equal and opposite reaction to something better happening in this world, some great swelling wave of openness and wakefulness out here.”
The singer won praise after he discussed his relationship with other men on his debut album.
Kanye West – who contributed to Boys Don’t Cry with a McDonald’s themed poem of his own – has spoken out in support of Ocean, praising the star for combating homophobia in the music industry.
However, other rappers refused to work with him since he came out.