Bishop Eddie Long allegedly sent these cell phone photos to another of his ‘spiritual sons’ who is not currently one of the four suing him for sexual coercion. The photos were released to the media by B.J. Bernstein, the lawyer representing the four accusers.
“Neither attorney Bernstein nor the plaintiffs themselves will be available for interview on this matter, now or in the future. There is no spokesperson for the plaintiffs’ team other than attorney Bernstein, and she will have no further comment on the case.”
The lawsuits against Long were filed in September by Maurice Robinson, Anthony Flagg, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande. Long denied all accusations in court documents.
The accusations against Long were somewhat shocking to many because of Long’s strong anti-gay views, including a ministry as part of his church that works to “convert” gay people. Long also led a march through the streets of Atlanta against gay marriage as well as other for other issues, including health care.
Many LGBT leaders decried the apparent hypocrisy of Long and said the allegations against him, if true, would “blow the hinges of the church’s doors.”
Civil rights icon Julian Bond skipped Coretta Scott King’s funeral because it was held at New Birth. He said because of her progressive views on LGBT equality and Long being a “raving homophobe” he knew he could not be there.
On Sept. 26, days after the lawsuits were filed, a defiant Long addressed a packed church of some 8,000 supporters and said, “There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that is being portrayed on the television,” Long said to cheers from the congregation. “That is not me.”
“I have been accused. I am under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” Long added.
“And I want you to know one other thing: I feel like David against Goliath, but I got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet,” he said, dropping his microphone with an audible thump.
The four men — Anthony Flagg, 21; Maurice Robinson, 20; Jamal Parris, 23; and Spencer LeGrande, 22 — said they were personally mentored by Long, that he took them on lavish trips to places such as Kenya and New Zealand, and bestowed on them extravagant gifts including jewelry and cars.
They all tell a similar tale of being a part of a group of young men Long called his “Spiritual Sons,” that they entered into ceremonial “covenants” with Long and that the renowned preacher used biblical scripture to justify sexual relationships.
Top photo: Bishop Eddie Long (publicity photo)