A Los Angeles preacher filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the popular news program "20/20," citing that they falsely illustrated his life in one of their programs.
The Rev. Frederick K.C. Price, pastor and founder of Crenshaw Christian Center, was part of a segment on televangelists titled "Enough!" about how ministries spend their congregants' offerings. The ABC program painted the religious leader as an overly wealthy individual who has too much.
Price said he has been "humiliated" over the incident, and explained that the news group gave completely false information about his life.
"[This is] one of the most outrageous instances of 'out of context' editing in the history of television," explained a part of the suit.
On Mar. 23, "20/20" ran their segment about wealthy televangelists which featured a sermon clip from Price 10 years ago. But the clip that the program chose to use was not even in reference to the pastor.
"I live in a 25-room mansion," said Price in the clip. "I have my own $6 million yacht, I have my own private jet and I have my own helicopter and I have seven luxury automobiles."
In reality, the Pentecostal preacher, who gives his sermons at the 10,000-seat FaithDome in South L.A., has none of these. While Price does own a Palos Verdes mansion, he said it has no where near 25 rooms. And one of his two Bentley cars was a gift from two of his congregants. He says his sermon was illustrating the wrong way to become successful.
Price claims that the reporting was extremely poor, and that they did not even approach him once before running the clip.
"He was wrongly and falsely portrayed," explained Anthony Glassman, Price's lawyer, to the Los Angeles Times.
The clip was originally run on Disney's Lifetime network as part of the "Ever Increasing Faith" television show that he speaks on.
Named in the defamation suit are the Walt Disney, Co., which owns ABC, and "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel.
ABC ran retractions for the program on two of their television shows – "Good Morning America" and "20/20" – as well as their website to correct the problem.
"We did make a full retraction and apology on the air," told Jeffrey Schneider, spokesman for ABC, to the Los Angeles Times, "and certainly regretted the error and made that very clear to Rev. Price."
The preacher and his lawyer say that is not enough. The church congregation was equally displeased with the news program.
"[The program was] dishonest, defamatory and simply filled with blatant lies," said Angela Evans, Price's daughter, during the church's Sunday service. "[He] feels like he's been raped."