CNN has more on homobigot pastor Eddie Long’s alleged secret same-sex predatory behavior. Long has not returned CNN’s calls regarding this third suit; he plans to hold a news conference tomorrow. And you won’t be surprised that his church is still behind him.
Another civil suit has been filed against Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long, alleging coercion, negligence and fraud that involved a sexual relationship with a third young male, CNN has learned.
Through a spokesman, Long on Tuesday denied similar allegations in two other lawsuits by two men.
Long will hold a news conference Thursday morning, spokesman Art Franklin said.
Allegations that Long coerced two young male church members and employees into sex are “a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues,” the pastor’s spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.
Pastor Eddie Long “categorically and adamantly denies these allegations,” spokesman Art Franklin said. “There’s been a lot of chatter since yesterday, but these complaints that have been filed are definitely without merit.”
…On the reaction from Long’s congregation, Franklin said, “Last night, it was a very spirit-filled worship service from a church family that loves its spiritual leader very much.” He said Long is drawing strength from his family, the New Birth family and other supporters.
“Before rushing to any judgment on Bishop Long and this court of public opinion taking place right now, I really do hope you will look at these guys that are throwing the mud and consider the source,” he said.
Asked how she can prove that sexual contact took place, Bernstein said, “I am ready to put them under oath. Bishop Long can spend money on the best attorneys in this world, and they can question those young men, and then I’ll get to question the bishop, and then we’ll really see what’s going on.” She said she will subpoena records of an “excessive number of phone calls” between Long and the young men, along with e-mails, credit card receipts and other items. Bernstein said she had alerted federal authorities about the situation
Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior. A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s magazine called him “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.”
UPDATE: This howler on ABCNews…
One of those photos viewed by ABC News depicts Long posing in what appears to be a bathroom stall in a red muscle shirt. The photo was sent via e-mail in November 2008 and is signed, “Eddie L Long, Amazed by His Grace.”
“What pastor in his right mind sends a picture from himself, posing in his bathroom in a muscle shirt?” Bernstein said. “None that I know of. Especially one who is a committed homophobe.”