Bishop Lamor Whitehead claims he lost income, members due to defamation by internet personalities: lawsuit

Lamor Whitehead, Larry Reid
Bishop Lamor Whitehead (L) and media personality Larry Reid (R). |

Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead, who was robbed of some $400,000 or more in jewelry while delivering a sermon at Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches in New York City in July, has slapped two popular online personalities with $20 million defamation lawsuits each following the loss of church members and income after they allegedly painted him as a scammer and drug dealer.

Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead, who was robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry while delivering a sermon at his Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches in New York City in July, has slapped two popular online personalities with $20 million defamation lawsuits each for loss of church members and income after they allegedly painted him as a scammer and drug dealer.

In one of the lawsuits, Whitehead names Larry Reid, whose "Larry Reid Live" show has a following of more than 200,000 people on Facebook alone. Reid, among other things, is also the founder of The MBN Network and the senior spiritual leader of Reformation Church of Atlanta.

Whitehead, who has been hitting out at critics since the robbery at his church made international headlines, also goes after De’Mario Jives of the "King Jives Show" in a similar lawsuit.

“As a result of (the defendants’) conduct, Plaintiff lost business deals, church members and income,” Whitehead’s lawsuit claims, according to the New York Daily News. “(Defendants) are liable to Plaintiff for defamation, libel per se and slander per se.”

Jives, according to the lawsuit filed in Kings County court on Friday, claimed on his YouTube channel last month that Whitehead “is wearing the same jewelry that [he] got robbed in.” Jives also allegedly said Whitehead was “drug dealing” and collaborating with “the Bloods and Crypts.”

Reid is accused of writing online that Whitehead scammed people out of money and that he “will be locked up in about three months.”

The brazen attack on Whitehead's church caught on video on July 24, made international headlines after multiple gunmen were shown robbing the bishop and his congregants of jewelry he claims was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Information from the New York City Police Department cited by The New York Post said three masked gunmen burst into Whitehead’s church at around 11:14 a.m. on the day of the robbery. The video of the incident shows Whitehead quickly surrendering to the gunmen as they relieved him, his wife and the congregants of their precious stones.

While police sources cited by The New York Times said the stolen jewelry was worth more than $1 million, other reports pegged the value at about $400,000.

Included in the jewelry stolen from Whitehead and his congregation are a $75,000 Rolex watch, a $75,000 Cavalier watch and several crosses worth tens of thousands of dollars each, the New York Post reported.

Responding to the lawsuit Wednesday, Reid who initially posted the video of the robbery, told The Christian Post in a statement that he is yet to see a copy of the lawsuit. He added that the filing feels “personal.”

“Bishop Whitehead filing this lawsuit against me feels personal. His ego has been injured and he wants to hit back. The robbery video became viral as a result of me posting it. I believe Whitehead resents the response he’s received from the media and feels it’s my fault. His outburst on my IG Live where he emotionally exploded and recent findings alleging he had stolen from others likely turned all media even the more against him,” Reid said in the statement.

“This filing is his way of hitting back. He said in a post that the filing was ‘his turn now.' The complaint is his temper tantrum and an attempt to stay in the media and change the media’s view of him. This will not work. He has to sit with that.

Just days after the robbery in July, Whitehead exploded in a Facebook Live interview with Reid and Genesis Warren and told them both to "kiss my a**" after they poked fun at the robbery and raised questions about how it happened.

Before the interview with Whitehead, Reid and Warren, who leads Geneses Warren Ministries, speculated that the robbery could have been a set-up, echoing the sentiments of many others online.

Warren and Reid also poked fun at the shabby appearance of Whitehead's church, pointing to, for example, a sheet stuck to a wall with "thumb tacks."

"Baby, I was screaming," Warren said.

Reid also alluded to Whitehead's criminal history. The Brooklyn bishop was arrested in 2006 for a $2 million identity-theft scam. He served some five years in prison but was released in 2013. He claims he was "falsely convicted and arrested for a crime I did not commit."  

Jives did not immediately respond to CP’s request for comment on Wednesday but he told the New York Post that he was merely poking fun at Whitehead.

“I’m a commentator,” Jives told the New York City publication. “I give commentary on religion, politics, public figures, everything. … We make a lot of jokes, especially about this particular situation, because this guy really is a joke.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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