BREAKING: Bishop Eddie Long Settles With His Four Young Accusers

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I’ve been looking for this all week.  I mean, really.  Because if a settlement hadn’t occurred by Memorial Day, the trial would have been scheduled for the summer, and it would have been as big as O.J.  And that’s not what Long wanted.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Attorneys involved in the four lawsuits against Long, the LongFellows Youth Academy and the 25,000-member Lithonia megachurch said the case had been settled but declined to comment further. The case is expected to be dismissed “with prejudice” — meaning the defendant cannot be sued by the plaintiffs again in the same alleged offense — by close of business Friday, said Barbara Marschalk, who represents New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and LongFellows Youth Academy.

B.J. Bernstein, who represents the four men who sued Long, New Birth and the academy, also confirmed the lawsuits had been settled. The academy was named in three of the suits.

Long, pastor of the Lithonia megachurch, which has an international following, had denied the men’s allegations through a spokesman shortly after they first became public in September and told his congregation he planned to “vigorously” fight them.

The accusations made against Long by Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson alleged that the bishop used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relations.

Naturally, many parishioners, present and former, are expressing relief. However, there are a few that are disappointed that Bishop Long did not say more to refute the accusations.  You know, the five stones in his pockets.

Former member Barbara Chumbler, who still visits New Birth from time to time, said she always believed the allegations were false, “although a settlement to me makes you look guilty.”

She said she was disappointed the case was settled in mediation, although she added that she thought it was “an easy way to get it out of the way and get it over with.”

Chumbler, who said she thinks Long is “like a lot of movie-star preachers, arrogant and a bit puffed up,” said she still believes he is not guilty of the accusations.

Unfortunately, B.J. Bernstein is saying that she nor her clients will be available now or in the future to talk about the case.  As  I said before, sealing the lips of all concerned is to be expected in cases like this.  So we may never really know exactly what happened between Long and the young men.  And like I said, it makes things far worse when such stories are buried away from public view and from public discussion.  Especially regarding sexuality, black men, and religion.

Remember that just because Long possibly admitted to nothing before and during the settlement meetings does not mean that nothing happened between him and the young men.   Anyone who believes the opposite–and that Eddie Long was set up–does not possess a full deck. From Russell’s report regarding the first settlement meetings, his sources indicated that each of the young men described what happened to them in graphic detail.   They were not lying.  I will always believe that something did happen with those young men and Bishop Eddie Long.

Whatever they will receive from Long, I hope that they will use it wisely to rebuild their lives and to seek healing.

More about this case later…

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~ by blksista on May 26, 2011.

One Response to “BREAKING: Bishop Eddie Long Settles With His Four Young Accusers”

  1. I bet the congregation must feel like chains of fools for defending that side show freak of nature.
    The men should have never been shown. They were victims.

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