Black Voices is reporting that former R&B crooner Keith Washington is defending his decision to air a phone call between him and a very ill Aretha Franklin. You may recall that it was reported last week that the Queen of Soul is suffering from pancreatic cancer. Washington, who hosts the radio show Kisses After Dark, called and asked his "dear friend" for an interview. Sounding tired, Franklin said that she would give him an interview when she felt better. Washington then aired the "conversation" with Franklin. Washington has come under fire about the ethics of his decision to air the "conversation," which many believe is a breach of Franklin's privacy. Read an excerpt below:
On November 8 while on a break from the on-air broadcast, I called Aretha Franklin because it had just come to my attention she had to cancel her tour plans for the next six months due to health issues. Since Aretha's been sick, I've been heartsick. Our conversation was captured on the live video stream, as are others, but I was not aware her end of the conversation was audible to the microphone. At no time, was our conversation aired or broadcast on the radio — like many blogs and even reputable news organizations have claimed. It is regrettable that anybody would characterize this as unethical when she is a dear friend. All I can say is that I've been talking about Aretha to my fans for years and me sharing my feelings about her with my audience was nothing unusual for me. I love her and her family dearly. I am troubled by how the video has been received — not for myself, but for any pain it caused my friend.
We're sure that airing a private conversation with one of the most famous women in the world was for her benefit. We don't call that friendship. We call it desperation and exploitation from someone dying to stay relevant. We've said it before and we'll say it again: With friends like that, who needs enemies?
Read the entire letter at Black Voices.