Gladys Knight’s divorce from her ex-husband record manager Barry Hankerson devastated their son, Shanga, she said in her memoir. At 11 years old, he weighed 320 pounds. Knight may have believed he’d recovered from that childhood trauma, but years later, Hankerson is accused of running the restaurants that carry his mother’s name into financial ruin, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles four Atlanta area restaurant locations have reopened but are now under state receivership.
Fans now wait in hour-long lines at its spot on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta for a taste of the Midnight Train: Four jumbo chicken wings on a golden waffle.
But the outward success of a famous family business unraveled when state revenue agents raided and closed the restaurant chain last month, arrested Hankerson on theft counts, and filed civil racketeering charges against him, alleging more than $1 million in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. All three locations have since reopened under state receivership.
Now, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned damaging new details about how Hankerson spent the company’s money and treated his employees.