Soul icon Aretha Franklin’s son was brutally beaten at a Detroit gas station on Sept. 20, E! Network reported.
Eddie Franklin, 52, was allegedly assaulted by two men and a woman. Authorities said Franklin described one of his attackers as being approximately six feet tall with dreadlocks and a dark complexion. He said the female was around 19 years old.
Initially, authorities were unable to garner details or talk to Franklin about the attack, saying he had “checked himself out of the hospital” before they could begin questioning.
Gwendolyn Quinn, a spokesperson for Aretha Franklin, confirmed the attack in a news release issued the following day. In the statement, she said Eddie Franklin underwent emergency surgery after the attack.
Aretha Franklin issued a statement on Sept. 23, describing Quinn as a “former publicist” and blaming the police for insinuating that her son was being uncooperative.
“After observing my son on Tuesday, it was clear that he was unable to communicate with anyone after such a traumatic attack and with his jaw wired,” Aretha Franklin said in a statement, according to The Detroit News. “The officer probably would not have been able to give a statement, if he had been attacked by three men the very next day either and it was totally unreasonable to expect Eddie to do so as if he were not being cooperative.”
Following Franklin’s statement, Detroit officials responded to her complaints.
“Our department has been in contact with the Franklin family and we are actively investigating this crime,” Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said in a statement, according to the News. “Whenever a citizen becomes a victim of violence, it not only affects their family, but the entire community.”
A spokeswoman for Sinai-Grace Hospital told USA Today that Eddie had been treated for his injuries but said he did not undergo surgery.
According to E!, Detroit police are investigating the attack but so far have not named any suspects or listed a possible motive.
Following in his mother’s footsteps, Eddie Franklin is also a singer. His most notable work appeared on his mother’s cover of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” to which he contributed guest vocals earlier this year.
In 2002, Eddie Franklin was named a suspect in the fire of his mother’s Detroit home, but was later cleared in the case.