In a recent interview with the DailyMail Kanye West cousin Franklin Lawerance spoke all about the “Real Friends” incident, which he believes played a major role in Kanye’s recent breakdown.
Franklin who was not the cousin mention in the “Real Friends” song explained that Kanye had given away the laptop, not knowing that any illicit footage was on there, to a family member as a gift in 2012. That family member, in turn, lent the laptop to another family member, who ended up finding the sex tape.
“I was at my aunt’s house when the family member who had the laptop called me, a friend of his, and my uncle to the kitchen where he opened the laptop to show a video of Kanye in clear view having sex with a fair-skinned black woman,” recalls Franklin.
Franklin then put it out there that the cousin immediately realized he could put a price on the footage and quickly enlisted the help of an attorney. “He put together a small team him and his attorney went after Kanye,” says Franklin, “and to show that they meant business they leaked a little information publicly to let it be know they indeed had the footage.”
The cousin in question even went as far as to contact porn websites to shop the footage and was given lucrative offers for the tape. Kanye enlisted his own team of lawyers in order to retrieve the tape, and Lawrence claims that Ye was hellbent on making sure the footage did not reach anyone else’s eyes. As per the song, Kanye and his cousin eventually struck a deal for $250,000, which got the tape back in his possession and obliged his cousin to promise that no more copies were made. The cousin also was reportedly forced to submit to a lie detector test regarding the contents on the laptop.
Lawrence said the incident caused Kanye to retreat from his family. Having no one in his family to turn to was a major factor in his recent breakdown, suggests Lawrence. He also thinks that Kanye is in need of the African American family values that his late mother cared about so deeply. He believes Kanye has been feeling a huge void since his mother’s sudden death, which was only made worse with his cousin’s successful attempt in extorting him for a sex tape. “When family begins to do you wrong where do you retreat?” asks Lawrence.