It’s been a while since we heard from the young men who accused Bishop Eddie Long of sexually abusing them, but they are alive and well and reportedly planning to tell their story.
As you know, Long passed away this past weekend after along battle with a previously undisclosed ailment.
It’s only been 2 days since he passed away but now that he’s gone, at least four of the five men who received a financial settlement from New Birth Missionary Baptist church back in 2011 are planning to release a tell-all book about the situation.
The AJC reports that Spencer LeGrande, Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg released the following statement when the outlet inquired about Long’s passing:
“As much as we’d like to make a statement about the passing of Bishop Eddie Long, we’ve all decided to remain silent, for now,”
Long’s accusers said in a joint response given exclusively to The AJC. They said Jamal Parris, the fourth former New Birth member to sue Long, also consented to the statement.
“We’re all brothers in this,” LeGrande said.
Their statement concluded, “Our perspectives will be addressed in our book, Foursaken, which we hope to release soon.”
That’s right, you will soon hear the sordid details directly from the mouths of Long’s accusers.
Spencer LeGrande, who now owns a successful sneaker cleaning company, said they’re still shopping for a publisher but the book will focus on their lives after breaking ties with the controversial bishop, who consistently denied the allegations against him.
LeGrande is now a father himself but he was fatherless and 15 when he met Long at one of New Birth’s satellite churches in Charlotte. LeGrande said the Bishop filled the void left by his father, stating “I got you … I will be your dad.”
The lack of a strong male influence was a common thread that bound Long’s accusers and Jamal Parris revealed back in 2011 that his father was abusive and rarely present.
Parris, who wrote an open letter to Bishop Long during the scandal, said he met the bishop, whom he said he would eventually call “daddy,” when he was 14 and new to Atlanta.
Both men said they were 17 when the sexual advances began. By then he had taken them on several trips, to Kenya, Honduras and the Bahamas, among other exotic locales, introducing them to world-famous celebrities and lavishing them with new cars and their own apartments.
Long never addressed the scandal directly, but in a sermon last year, he stated he had briefly entertained taking his own life.
“I had a moment…I had a moment…I wanted to kill myself and was ready,” he told his New Birth congregation, referring to a time when he said he felt “condemned from the four corners of the Earth.”
“My family loved me,” he said. “My church loved me…Regardless of what anybody said, love lifted me and carried me. And you didn’t judge me.”
Now that the mega church leader is deceased, at least 4 of his accusers will have the final say on the most trying chapter in the life of New Birth and its bishop.