By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER / The Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — Aretha Franklin’s son was severely beaten at a gas station in Detroit, the singing legend’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Eddie Franklin, who is in his 50s, was attacked Monday night, Gwendolyn Quinn said in a statement. A witness said two men and a woman may have been involved in the attack, according to the statement, which did not identify the witness or address a possible motive.
Quinn told The Associated Press early Tuesday morning she didn’t have any information beyond the written statement.
A woman who was with Franklin told police she went into the gas station and when she returned, he had been attacked, police spokeswoman Eren Stephens said. The woman then drove Franklin to a hospital, dropped him off and headed to a police station to file a report, police said.
Quinn’s statement said Franklin was undergoing surgery early Tuesday, but Detroit police said he wasn’t at the hospital when investigators stopped by.
They were told Franklin “walked out on his own,” Stephens said.
The AP left multiple messages for Quinn on Tuesday, seeking updated information. A hospital spokeswoman confirmed someone named Eddie Franklin was treated there but wasn’t able to offer details.
Stephens said it wasn’t entirely clear what had happened and investigators want to talk to Franklin.
“We really need to talk to him, because he’s the one who was assaulted,” she said. “We would advise him to come in and make (a report), but it’s voluntary.”
Aretha Franklin, 68, known as the Queen of Soul, is one of the most honored musicians in American history, having won numerous Grammys, the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Her hits include “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” ”Chain of Fools” and her signature song, “Respect.”
Eddie Franklin was considered a suspect in a 2002 arson fire at his mother’s 10,000-square-foot suburban Detroit home, but Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox’s office never charged him.
Eddie Franklin’s lawyer at the time, William Mitchell III, described him Tuesday as someone who needs a lot of “support care — people to get him around from this place to that place” but did not explain exactly what that meant.
“Mrs. Franklin is very, very, very, very, very protective of him,” Mitchell added.
Eddie Franklin also is a singer, having recorded in the past with his mother.