James Fortune: I Am Not a Supporter of Domestic Violence

Gospel singer James Fortune performs a song he dedicated to Michael Jackson and his family at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Beverly Hills, June 26, 2009.
Gospel singer James Fortune performs a song he dedicated to Michael Jackson and his family at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Beverly Hills, June 26, 2009. | (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)

Despite admitting to assaulting his wife, gospel artist James Fortune insists he does not believe in domestic violence.

In a public apology posted on Facebook, the 37-year-old minister of music said the media is accusing him of being something he is not.

"I want to make a public apology to my family, friends, and supporters for not being above reproach. Please pray that during this process God continues to perfect and restore me so that I become a better man, Father and Christian," Fortune wrote. "Despite the accusations and media embellishments, I am not a supporter of domestic violence. I do take full responsibility for my participation in the altercation and have been seeking out spiritual and professional guidance to improve my anger management and emotional discipline for over a year now and will continue to do so. Thank you for your continued prayers."

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Last week, ABC 13 revealed that Fortune was sentenced to five days of jail, five years of probation, 175 hours of community service and would have to complete a batterer's intervention program after pleading guilty to a third degree felony charge for assaulting his wife.

Fortune's wife Cheryl Fortune suffered from broken bones and internal injuries at the time of his arrest in October 2014, according to ABC reports. The news reports come three years after Fortune was sued for $5 million by his stepson's father who alleged that the singer burned the boy in hot water as an act of discipline 11 years prior.

The Grammy-nominated recording artist admitted that he needed to overcome some issues, but denied that the details published in media reports were all true.

"Where I was last October, a lot of people did see what was alleged in the news and of course the media just completely blew the whole situation out of proportion," Fortune said on "The Yolanda Adams Morning Show" last year. "But more than that, I needed to work on me."

While Fortune was grateful that God offered him forgiveness, the singer needed to overcome his anger issues in order to be renewed.

"A lot of times you'll always say what you'll never do but when you can't control your anger anything can trigger and make you do something that maybe you felt like you would never do. For me I ask God, of course I thank God for forgiveness but for me it was more than just forgiving," Fortune said. "I wanted to be better. I wanted to be changed. I wanted God to do something on the inside of me so that my story, my testimony could help someone else."

For Fortune, anger manifests itself into more than just physical violence. He spoke about intimidation, mental and psychological abuse that can impact children and family members.

Growing up as a preacher's son, Fortune said he understood that some people in the Christian community might shy away from the thought of undergoing therapy outside of the church. However, Fortune explained why prayer alone did not work for him.

"(Anger) festers and sometimes you don't even know where it's coming from. That's why what has helped me in therapy is understanding some of the things that have happened throughout my life as a child that has contributed to me being able to have this problem," he said. "I wanted to go to a therapist, I wanted to go to some classes. I still am, I'm still allowing God to finish some work in me."

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