New Birth Spokesperson Denies That Vanessa Long Has Left Her Husband

Eddie planting a kiss on his second wife, Vanessa Griffin Long; and this photo was taken during happier times? (Courtesy: Black Voices)

Hell, I think Andrew Breitbart creeps along the ground, especially regarding Shirley Sherrod.  The a-hole guy ruined her life with his lies.  However, I think he got it right regarding Congressman Anthony Weiner.   And Breitbart is a blogger, like Morris O’Kelly of The Mo’Kelly Report  is a blogger. The Mo’Kelly Report recently suggested that Vanessa Long has left her husband, the beleaguered Bishop Eddie Long, since he settled with the four young men who filed suit against him for sexual improprieties.

Maybe Eddie Long is still trying to coax Vanessa home; therefore, they are not really “separated.”   Would you believe that or the semantics behind it?  What wife who is a semi-public figure would disappear from view for five months, not only from her husband’s ministry, but from the neighborhood where they live during such a time, unless they were AWOL?  Or worse, dead.

But I think Vanessa Griffin Long is very much alive, just very much to herself at this moment, probably not living at the Longs’ house and/or even sharing his bed.   As with political wives, if the religious wives don’t show up beside their husbands during some scandal or if they don’t respond with an immediate statement of support, you know for sure that marriage is trashed.  And Vanessa Long has not said word one.  Huma Abedin is the latest political wife to deal with the fallout regarding her errant husband (and that’s yet another story).   Some think that her staying with Hillary Clinton rather than taking a quick flight home when  Congressman Anthony Weiner‘s troubles began is proof that it’s going to take more than two weeks to get that relationship up and running.  I digress, but the logic has worth.  The statement from Art Franklin, spokesperson for New Birth regarding the rumors that Vanessa Long has left her husband as well as his church:

Despite a very public attack against New Birth Church and its leadership, New Birth has chosen not to respond to rumors but remain focused on fulfilling the mission that God has for the ministry.

However, in this new digital world, along with a steep decline in quality reporting, many people can’t discern the difference between legitimate journalists and irresponsible bloggers. Recently, some blog entries have surfaced claiming to have anonymous sources stating that New Birth First Lady Elder Vanessa Long has left her husband. That claim is completely and absolutely false.  Mrs. Long is very much a loving, dedicated and committed wife and mother.

It is unfortunate that anyone would make such hateful and damaging false claims of this nature. These cruel and insensitive rumors have the potential to cause immeasurable pain and suffering. Those involved should feel obligated to retract their earlier statements.

Just how much more pain, and not quite yet, I would say.  Yesterday Morris O’Kelly of the Mo’ Kelly Report published a couple of e-mails exchanged between Franklin, Eddie Long’s mouthpiece, and himself regarding the issue of the breakdown of the Longs’ marriage. O’Kelly insists that the statement is part and parcel of Long’s gaming the public and the faithful.  Before he published his story, O’Kelly says he contacted the Long camp for confirmation and details on June 8.  That e-mail is below.  A credible journalist usually goes back to the subject(s) of his/her story for a response before publication.  He or she doesn’t have to wait for a response, just have the ducks lined up in a row.  But Franklin didn’t respond until this week, citing a death in the family. Hmph. I’ve seen that movie, too. He chose to attack.  Check this:


Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 3:51PM

Subject: Re: Vanessa Long – The Mo’Kelly Report

Mr. Franklin,

I wanted to reach out to you in regards to sources which are reporting to me that Vanessa, the wife of Bishop Eddie Long has moved out of the family home, in fact taking one of the children with her.

Now I am not naive to believe that you would corroborate this story.  This is not the point of my email.  I did want to offer New Birth the opportunity to put forth a statement regarding the state of the family to include in my posting regarding this information.

My sources are very, very strong.

In the interest of fairness, New Birth should be allowed equal opportunity to refute or disprove any of the aforementioned suggestions.  Please forward a short statement to

Or, if you are available for an audio interview (without any respect to settlement particulars) we could do that as well.


Morris O’Kelly

The Mo’Kelly Report

********** (m)


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 10:20AM

Subject: Re: RE: Really Art…really?

Mr. Kelly why do you feel my comment is personally directed at you? because it isn’t.
Art Franklin, CEO
Franklin Media Group, FMG
2221 Peachtree Rd. NE #D616

(O’Kelly responds…)

Really Art…Really?  Was there someone ELSE who broke and stayed on top of this story?  Was there someone ELSE who was referenced in EVERY story regarding this around the net?

Really Art?

Let’s start telling the truth, Art.  You didn’t even send the statement to Mo’Kelly.


Mr. Kelly,
I received reports about a number of blogs including yours but did not personally read all of the blogs. I appreciate your offer to be fair and hope that is the case with all of your posts. Perhaps when the schedule permits we will have the opportunity to speak. Please understand that I don’t consider this  a game and was speaking with a few colleagues recently about how to properly recognize bloggers who seek accuracy, balance and fairness as writers who are news contributors.

There’s no need to battle. That won’t benefit either one of us.

BTW…your e-mail was sent to me at a time when I was dealing with a family death. I didn’t respond to anything until I returned home today and got a call from one of the local stations seeking a comment regarding the blogs about Mrs. Long.

Art Franklin, CEO
Franklin Media Group, FMG
2221 Peachtree Rd. NE #D616
Atlanta, GA 30309 Franklin Media Group
Mo’Kelly’s final response…

Mr. Franklin,

I’m sorry for your loss.  But I must be clear.

For you to assail the supposed inaccuracy of the blogs yet in your email below acknowledge your lack of research prior to releasing your statement is a glaring contradiction.

I’m sure a lot of thought and preparation went into your statement which was email-blitzed to the media.  It’s more than difficult to reconcile the idea that in all of that feigned disgust, you weren’t sure what exactly you were responding to and to whom.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt that as a PR person you do your homework.  It is hard for me to believe you released that statement in absence of doing it.

So if I understand you correctly…you got a call today and you released a statement today and hadn’t even researched the origin of the stories, but were confident enough to blast the journalistic integrity of bloggers and the supposed “steep decline in reporting?”

I will leave you to tend to your family matters and again I am sorry for your loss.  But this issue is not one to be approached lightly.

Readers and listeners will find it more than slightly odd that New Birth found time to release a statement to the media about “bloggers” but nothing substantive of note regarding the spiritual healing process necessary for the body of Christ in the wake of the settlements.


If Vanessa Long shows up at a New Birth event looking fresh, effervescent and supportive of Bishop Long, as an AJC article maintains, at a scheduled upcoming “Family and Friends Homecoming Celebration” on July 2 at the church, it would go a little way in refuting O’Kelly’s story, but not all the way.   People would be asking themselves if she were being paid to show up, it’s gotten that bad.  (Look, Joseph P. Kennedy supposedly offered Jackie a couple million dollars to stay married to John so that he could win the presidency in 1960. The divorce would have killed womanizer John’s chances. It’s not unreasonable to assume this in Long’s case.) If I were present at this church event, I’d check out the body language between the couple, and how long she lingers at the celebration. If the grown children show up and she doesn’t, that’s another clue that all is not well.

No wife in the world could face such a scandal, such a reproof to what she and her husband built up over the years, no matter what their reputation. Additionally,she must see that the settlement to the young men as well as the dwindling coffers will get in the way of her living in high style. The longer she stays in the marriage may prevent her from getting a reasonable settlement herself when the time comes. I’m sure Vanessa Long is weighing this as well as other options, and also grieving what is possibly the end of her marriage.  Her marriage may have ended long ago, without her knowledge, when Bishop Long began to stray with these and no doubt other young men, keeping his activities sub rosa  from her, his other intimates, ministers and the church.  As with many others who have been closely watching this case, I think she took his settling with the four young men and the private apology he gave them as an admission of guilt and responsibility despite protestations and chest-beating to the contrary.

I find it interesting that Franklin would tell O’Kelly that he and others at New Birth were trying to find more  sympathetic accurate media that might get the New Birth point-of-view across to the public.  Really?  Where?  And who?  There are only going to be a few of these blogs and websites and media.  And who would believe them if they portrayed the New Birth view?  When the cover is blown, there’s nothing much to recreate.

In Vanessa Long’s case, this is no laughing matter, and as I said before, Eddie Long deserves everything that he gets from this time onwards.

~ by blksista on June 16, 2011.

3 Responses to “New Birth Spokesperson Denies That Vanessa Long Has Left Her Husband”

  1. I have heard from New Birth members that they have not seen Mrs. Long in a very long while and it has been reported that she goes to the Bronners’ church regularly now. I am tempted to go check it out for myself…


    • Be my guest (at the Bronners, that is). But when this really, really gets out, nail is going to meet coffin once more. The journalist who gets to interview Vanessa Long is going to be nominated for all kinds of media awards. I’d rather it be Dale Whatsisname from Faux Atlanta than Bossip, though.


  2. Thanks for including me on the follow up article list. And much dap on the wife angle. I didn’t realize until just now that indeed, we haven’t seen nor heard from Mrs. Long since this whole thing broke. Even Weiner’s wife (as do many politicians’ wives) was beside him the other day when he made a statement, right before she went jetting off with Hilly Clint and they spent the flight discussing how much they want to kick their respective husbands in the nuts….


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