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Victims Detail Bishop Eddie Long's Alleged Sexual Coercion

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Pair Plan to Write a Book About Their Involvement with Atlanta Pastor

Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspapers –

(NNPA) Bishop Eddie Long settled civil lawsuits several months ago, which alleged that he used his influence to coerce young men into sexual relationships. But new interviews by two of the five men that were party to the settlement have put the pastor and Atlanta’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church back in the media spotlight.

When the settlement was announced in May, plaintiff's attorney B.J. Bernstein said neither she nor her clients would give interviews on the case, then or in the future. But two of the men, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande, have risked their still-undisclosed settlements to share their story.

“I'm going to tell the world—money does not buy happiness," LeGrande told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Aug. 24. “When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number. I feel like burning [the money].”

The extensive interviews, conducted in conjunction with Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB, detail the relationship between the boys and Long, and how they feel they were manipulated. The interviews were conducted in Miami, Florida where LeGrande and Parris have relocated, hoping to start fresh. But both men said they still bear scars of Long’s manipulation of their need for a father into unwanted sexual encounters.

“[The money is] just not enough anymore,” Parris told WSB. “I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong."

During the interview, Parris and LeGrande announced that they were writing a book together which would share the details of what happened to them in hopes of helping others.

With the interviews made public on the WSB Web site, Bishop Long has issued a statement in response.

“Unfortunately, we are in the media again and people are wondering what I am going to say,” the statement read. “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 this ministry.”

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+1 # Guest 2011-09-03 12:59
As a survivor of ten years of sexual abuse at the hands of my preacher father, I could not disagree more with E. Frazier. Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande were victims of a sexual predator who masquerades as a Bishop. They are actually risking their settlement by speaking out after they settled out of court. The Bishop is learning that you cannot pay enough money to silence two victims who have found their voice. They have every right to speak out and tell their story for as long as it takes for them to heal. There are too many Christians who want to sweep this under the rug. Eddie Long has been exposed as a sexual predator and he needs to resign. He is unfit to be a pastor of any church. We as the body of Christ need to hold him accountable for his sin. To everyone who supports and covers his abuse, they are just as guilty before God of the same sin.
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-2 # Guest 2011-08-30 12:16
A previous Pastor, I sat under some years back based a Sunday morning sermon from I Peter 4:8, which emphasize that love covers, it doesn't expose. These young men hurt so badly to the the degree that they don't keep their word. Choose to believe what you may, but how much do they need to say (expose) in order to bring healing or does everything spell MONEY (this interview, plan book, plus what the initial issue was settled for). There's never justification in leaders abusing their authority, but rest assured there is a day of reckoning for all, II Cor. 5:10. Christians pray for The Body of Christ, ( the church). Blessings.
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