Moreover, he said, the “Respect” story line zeroes in on an early period in Aretha Franklin’s life.

“Odds are, Kelf Franklin either was not alive, or was of such a tender young age, that he wouldn’t have direct knowledge of matters” in the story, Bennett said.

Although “Respect” production is underway, the estate continues to negotiate with MGM to formally authorize the film. While the studio could release the movie without such a deal, “there’s a big difference between authorized and unauthorized,” the attorney said.

In his Facebook post, Kecalf Franklin also criticized the publication of “The Queen Next Door,” a collection of images by Aretha Franklin’s longtime personal photographer Linda Solomon. Echoing his complaint about the MGM film, the “core” family was not contacted for input, he wrote.

Owens penned the book’s afterword. An October release party at the Detroit Institute of Arts drew guests including former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and former Pistons star Isiah Thomas.

“These are respectful and loving tributes,” Solomon said Tuesday. “Without them, we cannot continue to share and respect the legacy of Aretha Franklin. We’ve got to continue to teach her legacy. If we don’t, she’ll fade away.”

Contact Detroit Free Press music writer Brian McCollum: 313-223-4450 or

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