Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande: The Money From Bishop Long Doesn’t Even Begin To Ease The Pain (w/Updates)

This is raw video that I found online of the Parris-LeGrande interview.  Raw video means that the video has not been cut by the news organization, and there is no narration by the reporter.  This is just as it happened.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ve seen this burgeoning story for two days now, and I still say, these young men need some help and compassion.

If they are ready to come out in public and talk, thus jeopardizing any payments of the settlement money that is coming to them, just imagine how the other original young accusers must feel as well.

Others may think: they’ve got a book deal now.  They don’t really need Bishop Long’s  New Birth’s pennies.  Perhaps, but laying it all out also serves another purpose.  He–and some others–won’t be able to do this again.  If they can also name names of other pastors who might have been involved in or who even knew of the abuse, they  might find themselves losing parishioners.  It is just that simple.  In some ways, I fear for their lives now for what they may know.  You cannot libel the dead, but the young men run the risk of incurring some civil lawsuits themselves.

Why would I say “other pastors”?  Earlier, I went over to Rod 2.0, a black LGBT news website that definitely gives one the scoop about what is happening among our gay brothas and sistas.  Rod is based in HotlantaThis was a comment made by Former COGIC  to the interview and to an earlier post.  Note: most of the responders have had experiences in the black church, and of these, a few have also been abused by church pastors or have known friends, lovers or family who were abused.  Check this out:

>>>”They should also give it [the money back] to the people that have lost money by giving their last paychecks to Eddie Long.”<<<

ROFL

This case has brought out the worst in the black gay community, maybe because many of us have been in that situation, seen it happen, or done it ourselves. These were 16 and 17 year old boys when Eddie Long (and who knows how many of his friends) took advantage of them. They were smart and eventually handled the situation like men.

Dozens of people on this blog ranted against them and criticized them for taking a settlement, like they owed something to our community. Now, they talk to the press and jeopardize their settlement and it still isn’t enough for some of you.

What choices were you all making at 16, 17 and 23 years old? Why are you demanding so much more from them?

These young men helped many, many people by calling this man out and filing a lawsuit. They are helping many more by speaking out. You don’t know what they went through. You don’t know [whether] they were raped, forced to do this, passed around to other men, [whether]  pictures or video taken, or even if family members turned the other head. You don’t know why this kid tried to kill himself and what really happened.

They don’t need to do anything else for anyone else. Period. The bigger question is what are you grown men doing for the community? Not very much, because too many black gay men stay in these churches, didn’t call out Eddie Long, and are hiding in the closet.

The book will sell.  Big.  B-I-G.  I hope that they have an excellent ghostwriter who can also give a perspective on homophobia in the black church, sexual abuse of boys, men, and women in the black church, among other pressing topics that our community cannot continue to sweep under the rug.

WSB-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have stolen a march on Fox 5 Atlanta, which is Dale Russell‘s channel.  Jodie Fleischer has a big, big scoop.  Dale Russell was left with the news that Jamal Parris was given probation for his pot charges.

Among other revelations, both Jamal and Spencer say that they have babies on the way.  Bishop Long never apologized to them at that last settlement meeting.  They really didn’t get as much money as people like to think.  Like Centeno Kemp, Jamal also has a tattoo–this time with the initials “JL” for “Jamal Long.”  Jamal considered himself Bishop Long’s son, and Long was present when the young man got this tat.  He hasn’t had it removed.   Jamal has been given probation from being charged with dope possession with the intention to distribute.

They also described how Bishop Long progressively put the moves on them.  This was how Spencer described it:

When Spencer returned to Kenya with Long at age 17, the two shared a room in an exclusive Nairobi hotel. Soon they’d be sharing a bed, LeGrande said.

The teen was jet lagged and the bishop encouraged him to take a sleep aid, LeGrande said. According to LeGrande’s lawsuit, a prolonged hug followed, as did “kissing and rubbing.”

LeGrande said he felt powerless and conflicted. Doubts mixed with feelings of indebtedness, while Long used scripture to rationalize the intimacy, he said.

After that trip, LeGrande said, Long encouraged him to move to Atlanta and study for the ministry at Beulah Heights University.

The bishop paid his tuition, bought him a new Dodge Intrepid and supplied a suite at the Hyatt Place in Lithonia, LeGrande said.

But there were stipulations, he said.

Parris said he had a similar experience of restrictions.

“Let me alienate you from all that you knew,” he described. “You’re not allowed to talk to females. You’re isolated. Everyone thinks you’ve abandoned them.”

Parris went to Honduras and the Bahamas with Long, with first-class accommodations. Then, when he was 17, the sexual advances began, he said.

But LeGrande said doubts were overwhelmed by the addictive lifestyle.

“I didn’t have a dad my whole life,” LeGrande said. “Just to have a man love me for who I was … I had to love him back.”

[…]

Parris acknowledges he’s still dealing with his relationship with Long. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and was sentenced to a year’s probation. A weapons charge was dropped.

He’s in therapy, though perhaps nothing has proven more healing than his friendship with LeGrande, whose calm demeanor contrasts sharply with Parris’ frenetic bluntness.

“I’m fighting not to pull the trigger,” Parris said. “I’d love to take pills and never wake up.”

“[Spencer] has been my bro,” he continued. “I do know there’s someone in my corner who’s experienced what I’ve experienced.’

Sometimes, you’ve got to have that kind of friend.

Some people, and readers, may have been confused that Jamal and Spencer indicated that they did not have sex with Bishop Long.  My interpretation is (1) that they did not have consenting sexual relations with Long, and (2) that they were not penetrated anally.   I get this from the complaints the four men filed.

It really doesn’t matter whether it was fellatio or not, it was rape.

Meanwhile, Eddie Long says that he is moving forward with his work, and seeks to abide by the settlement conditions.  Umph.  Never admit to anything, right?

This is his official statement:

New Birth Members,

We have a long history of dutifully serving those in need in the local and global communities and we will continue to do so. We are committed to the calling of a strong, viable and relevant ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, we are in the media again and people are wondering what I am going to say. All I have to say is what we stated earlier. All parties involved decided to resolve the civil cases out of court. The decision was made to bring closure to this matter and allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry.

I will continue to honor and abide by my commitment of confidentiality and restraint as it relates to the resolution of the civil litigation and will not be diverted from the important work of the ministry.

I thank God for your faithful support of my journey to South Africa where thousands where blessed and more than 700 people gave their lives to Christ. We also were able to sow more support into the HIV/AIDS Hospice in Johannesburg that we partnered with last year. We built a wonderful bridge of relationships with pastors and community leaders to further establish the Kingdom and bless others.

I love you and thank you for your continued commitment and dedication.

Your Pastor,

Bishop Eddie L. Long

Umph.  But what did the media expect he was going to say?

And yall who come to this blog from Africa, from the UK, and other world locations who have vaguely heard of Eddie Long and his travails, there is a host of archived articles with links that I’ve written about the Bishop since this story broke last fall.  Find that archive box called “Search” to the right, and write in “Eddie Long.”  Be thus equipped, because he is not what you may want in your churches.

Like I said, the book will sell.  I would buy it.  Hell yes, I would read it.  Even people who still support Long will buy it and read it.

The long death of the ministry of Bishop Eddie Long continues.

~ by blksista on August 26, 2011.

One Response to “Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande: The Money From Bishop Long Doesn’t Even Begin To Ease The Pain (w/Updates)”

  1. I never thought we would find out the details of what EL did. The pain and tragedy these boys went through is immeasurable. I hope they get the counseling they need. The fact that EL remains a reprobate and unapologetic probably fueled them coming out so to speak. The whole world needs to know about EL so he doesn’t get another penny in “tithes”.

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