- (Photo: www.juanitabynum.com via The Christian Post)
- (Photo: Dallas County Sheriff's Department via The Christian Post)
[Editor's Note: Saturday, April 27, 2013:
Relevé Entertainment responded to accusations by Juanita Bynum. "I am deeply saddened by Ms. Bynum's baseless accusations, which are not only false but also slanderous. I will continue to keep her in prayer," Holly Carter told The Christian Post. Carter is president and CEO of Relevé Entertainment, a faith-based management and production company.]
Christian evangelist and self-proclaimed prophetess Juanita Bynum says her arrest last week over a debt owed to a promoter was an "unfortunate event" stemming from fraud perpetrated by another party.
"Until recently, it was my understanding that a resolution had been reached involving a business dispute between Mr. Al Wash, of ALW Entertainment and myself," reads Bynum's statement on the April 18 arrest in Dallas, Texas. "I was wrongfully detained, by the Dallas Texas Sheriff's Dept. for failing to appear in court several months ago, for a civil court appearance, of which I knew nothing, involving the prior mentioned business dispute." The statement, published on Bynum's ministry website, was dated April 24.
Bynum, whose arrest was first reported by the Dallas Morning News crime blog, confirms in her statement that she was released last Friday after a "brief court hearing" on the lawsuit originally brought by Wash in 2007.
"I have not been found guilty of any fraudulent, unethical or non-integral behavior," she adds in the statement, which also includes an apology attributed to Wash that is dated April 19, the day after her arrest.
In the attached document, apparently an email statement sent at 7:18 p.m. from Wash of ALW Entertainment, the promoter states that there was a "misunderstanding of information" and that he never intended for the arrest to "do her or her ministry any harm."
"I am here to help people build their career not destroy their career and I will always believe in Dr. Bynum," reads the email attributed to Wash.
It also calls Bynum "a spectacular person" with whom Wash hopes to work with in the future.
The $140,000 debt Wash claimed in a lawsuit that Bynum owed his company was reportedly linked to a fee the Georgia-based minister was paid for an engagement she never honored.
Comments made by Wash on April 19 on his Twitter account indicate that Bynum owed him a past debt of $125,000, with no further updates made to his account since. The Christian Post's message for Wash left with ALW Entertainment's receptionist on Friday was not returned by press time.
In her statement, Bynum says she has "shown due diligence by paying Mr. Wash $25,000 prior to April 18, 2013" and that both parties had come to an understanding regarding who was responsible for the total amount owed. The Pentecostal minister alleges in her statement that Holly Carter and Releve' Entertainment are liable for "breach of fiduciary duty" and "unjust enrichment" tied to "the fraudulent nature of her 'representation' of me during this business transaction."
Bynum signs off the statement by asserting that her new status as a goodwill ambassador for Bayelsa State in southern Nigeria means she can no longer allow attacks on her character "with impunity." The press packet enclosing Bynum's statement on her arrest also includes documentation of her goodwill ambassador designation and photos of a Jan. 13, 2013, ceremony celebrating her status as such attended by Nigerian dignitaries.
While Bynum makes no comment on the context of her arrest, the Religion News Blog reports that the minister was arrested before her speaking engagement at the Ninth Annual Spring Prophetic Conference in Irving, Texas.
Bynum, 54, travels regularly to preach, with her messages said to reflect a prosperity, or health and wealth, theology. She is also an author and recording artist. Bynum was previously married to Thomas Weeks III, but the pair divorced in 2008 after Weeks pleaded guilty to assaulting his former wife in a hotel parking lot the year prior.