Frank Ocean responded to his estranged father’s $14.5 million libel lawsuit, denying the majority of claims leveled against him in a new court filing. Calvin Cooksey sued the singer in February over a Tumblr post Ocean wrote after the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting.
“I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out of a neighborhood diner saying we wouldn’t be served because she was dirty,” Ocean wrote at the time. “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.”
Cooksey denied the incident ever took place and claimed the essay was seen by millions and cost him “future financial opportunities in the film and music industries.” Specifically, Cooksey argued that Ocean knew he was working on a movie titled Part of the Game and “destroyed his father’s reputation so that his father can never get a deal or produce his father’s movie.”
In a new document filed May 10th, Ocean denied the majority of his father’s claims, including the libel charges, Cooksey’s assertion that the events described in the post never happened and Cooksey’s claim that Ocean’s post was all part of some “diabolical plan” to ruin him. Ocean, however, did admit to publishing the essay in a phrase repeated throughout his filing: “Defendant admits he wrote the published essay. Defendant admits the essay speaks for itself.”
Elsewhere, Ocean countered his father’s suit with a handful of procedural defenses, arguing that Cooksey waited too long to file his suit and that the California district he initially filed in does not have jurisdiction over his complaint. Furthermore, Ocean claimed the statements in his post were protected from libel charges because they were both true and “statements of opinion.”
Ocean also denied responsibility for any injury or damages, arguing, “Any and all alleged events and happenings, injuries, losses or damages referred to in Plaintiff’s Complaint were directly and proximately caused and contributed to, in whole or in part, by the carelessness, negligence and willful acts acts of Plaintiff herein, and therefore the extent of loss, damages or injury sustained by Plaintiff, if any, should be reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence or fault attributable to Plaintiff.”
Cooksey did not immediately reply to a request for comment.