AceShowbiz - Benzino is setting the record straight on his sexuality. The former star of "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" has stressed that he is "straight" after rumors claiming he's dating transgender actress Shauna Brooks.
Making use of Twitter on Friday, April 15, the father of Coi Leray wrote, "I am straight and always will be that." The 56-year-old TV personality went on to say, "I respect the LGBTQ community." He concluded his post with a hashtag, "#zinovstheplanet."
The rumors began to swirl after a video of him and Shauna, who claimed she had a brief relationship with him, surfaced. In a separate post, Benzino explained that the said clip was a part of a movie they played in.
"This is the movie that me and Shauna Brooks played in," tweeted Benzino. "Though we never did scenes together, the director gave my number to Shauna because she wanted to rent out the Crab Trap for an event, I had a couple of conversations and still to this day we never met in person."
Benzino later said, "The movie is a comedy/drama and the first time I ever did a comedy. It already won an award and is debuting on Tubi next month." He then warned his fans, "Don't be fooled by fools who just want to defame my character."
"They won't get away with it but until then I will keep my progress and still treat people with respect while displaying professionalism no matter what race or gender they happen to be," Benzino continued in a separate tweet. He insisted, "I know who I am as well as the people who know and love me, anyone else doesnt matter anyway."
Benzino's statement came after he was publicly called out by 50 Cent in a homophobic Instagram post. At the time, 50 Cent wrote, "Young Buck, Benzino just embrace who you are but don't pat nobody butt when they score a basket. fool. Hahaha, Nah. FOR REAL! PUNK."
In a separate post, 50 Cent added a clip that seemed to be a leaked phone conversation between Benzino and Shauna. In it, Benzino explained why it could "look bad" for him to be seen with a trans woman.
"You don't f**king look bad, I do," Benzino said. "You can never look bad. In this world you ain't doing nothing wrong. It would be wrong if I did. Can't you get that through your head? You're not looking bad Shauna. You're looking like a f**king chick. … I'm looking wrong 'cause what the f**k are you trying to do f**king with a transgender?" Underneath the footage, 50 Cent penned, "LOL OH MY GOD, THIS GUY IS CRAZY."
Benzino later reposted 50 Cent's homophobic post and ranted, "Hey f**k you @50cent." He continued, "So @50cent wanna clown me for f**king with the trans community? Someone ask him why Power got gay as hell this season."