Eddie Long Demands $1M Repayment From Accusers

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By Herbert Pinnock, Christian Post Reporter
October 1, 2011|10:50 am

Eddie Long's attorneys are seeking to recover $900,000 from the financial settlement of three of the five people who accused him of sexual coercion in 2010, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).

At the time of the settlement in May, Art Franklin, a Long spokesman, told CNN that the pastor settled because it "is the most reasonable road for everyone to travel."

He added, "This decision was made to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry."

The move forward appears not to have been as smooth as Franklyn would have hoped, for the letter sent by the attorney of the mega-church bishop alleges that Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp violated terms of a confidentiality agreement outlined in the settlement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

The confidentiality of the agreement was breached, when, accordingly, the three men broke their silence through through public interviews. Kemp has announced a tell-all book called First Lady. Parris and LeGrande also revealed earlier this summer their plans to write a book.

"I'm going to tell the world – money does not buy happiness," LeGrande said in an interview in August. He is also quoted by AJC as saying, "When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number?" He is also reported to have said, "I feel like burning [the money]."

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The firm is seeking at least $900,000 already paid the three accusers, according to people involved in the settlement but not authorized to speak publicly. That figure is a portion of the total settlement with the three men, AJC has learned.

Financial terms of that settlement have not been disclosed but, based on the letter and the fact that each of the young men were paid equitably, the speculation is that the total comes to at least $1.5 million.

Long was appointed pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in 1987 when the church had about 150 members. In less than four years, the congregation grew to more than 8,000 members. At the time of the sexual abuse scandal the church had grown to more than 25,000 members.

 

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