Frank Ocean, the hip-hop star hailed for his artistic sensitivity, is facing a lawsuit from his own father after the singer criticized him in a plea for LGBT rights.
In an angry and often rambling lawsuit filed Thursday, Ocean’s estranged father sought $14.5 million from the pop star, saying that his son’s comments made him lose work opportunities.
Ocean, who became a hip-hop trailblazer in 2012 when he opened up about his first love being a man, made the comments in an essay shortly after the June massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
“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,” he wrote on Tumblr.
“That was the last afternoon I saw my father and the first time I heard that word, I think, although it wouldn’t shock me if it wasn’t.”
Calvin Cooksey, the 29-year-old singer’s father, denied the incident and accused Ocean of disrespecting both Christianity and Islam for other parts of the essay in which he wrote of global persecution of the LGBT community.
Ocean has “an evil misplaced hate for his father,” the lawsuit said, writing that the Bible condemned not only “homosexual sin” but also “disrespecting thy father.”
Cooksey said he had been working on a crime thriller movie called “Part of the Game” whose commercial prospects were destroyed by his son’s comments.
Cooksey, who has little relationship with his son and is not known to have steady work, earlier unsuccessfully sued the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons who called Ocean’s father a deadbeat.
Ocean won wide acclaim for his 2012 debut album “Channel Orange,” with his smooth, gentle voice and reflective lyricism standing out in the often macho world of hip-hop.
His long-awaited follow-up, “Blonde,” came out in August. In unusual moves, Ocean released the album on his own and chose not to submit it for consideration at the Grammy Awards, where he has been a favorite.