Gladys Knight has won her legal battle to cut ties with her son's struggling restaurant
The 72-year-old soul legend launched a civil lawsuit against Shanga Hankerson last summer (16) over the chain of family diners that bear her name, claiming the business had damaged her reputation thanks to failed health inspections and federal tax crimes.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the case has been concluded after a signed settlement agreement was filed in Georgia's Clayton County court on Monday (27Feb17). As per the document, 40-year-old Shanga must remove all uses of his mother's name, likeness and memorabilia from the restaurant, which was formerly called Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles by the end of April (17).
However, the agreement contains the stipulation that Hankerson must complete the tasks immediately if the eatery fails another health inspection.
Officials gave the chain a score of just 44 out of 100 after they completed their latest investigation on 6 October (16). The poor score was posted on the Fulton County Department of Public Health website, with the accompanying report citing owners for a string of violations, including handling food without gloves and evidence of cockroaches in the kitchen - a repeat offence.
The Midnight Train to Georgia singer sued her son after agents from the Georgia Department of Revenue raided all three of the diners in the state and arrested Hankerson on federal charges of theft by taking and withholding state taxes in June (16).
Gladys granted her son a licence to use her name and image for the restaurants back in 1999, but that contract expired in 2009, and they had a verbal agreement in place until the raids occurred last year (16), when the star decided it was time to sever ties.