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Two Bishop Eddie Long accusers break silence
Bishop Eddie Long has denied allegations that he sexually coerced male congregants.
August 25th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Two Bishop Eddie Long accusers break silence

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) - Two young men who last fall sued Atlanta megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long for allegedly manipulating them into having sex when they were teens are speaking out against the pastor for the first time since settling with him out of court.

On Wednesday, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande, now in their early 20s, gave an exclusive interview to CNN Atlanta affiliate WSB, saying that they are haunted by their experiences with Long and that they are writing a tell-all book about what they say happened between them and the powerful pastor.

Read more about the Eddie Long scandal

Last September, Parris, LeGrande and two other young men filed suit alleging Long “uses monetary funds from the accounts of New Birth and other corporate and non-profit corporate accounts to entice the young men with cars, clothes, jewelry, and electronics.” The accusations were particularly controversial because Long, who is married, has preached passionately against homosexuality for years.

In May, following months of mediation, Long and Parris and LeGrande reached an undisclosed settlement agreement. The terms are not public.

However, WSB reported Wednesday that the men claim Long made cash payments to them in exchange for their pledge to never talk about the case again.

But LeGrande and Parris said that they couldn’t keep quiet any longer.

“It's just not enough anymore. I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong," said Parris.

Talking with WSB, the men delved into details about their alleged relationship with Long, who has maintained his innocence from the start. On Thursday, Long media representative Art Franklin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Parris told WSB that he grew up without a father and that Long seized on that vulnerability. “To have a man love me for just who I was. I just had to be me, and love him back,” said Parris.

Jamal Parris pointed to a “JL” tattoo on his arm, which he said stands for “Jamal Long,” suggesting an extraordinarily close relationship between the two. Parris said Long was with him when he got inked.

The men told WSB that writing a book is part of their effort at healing, though it’s unclear if the men are publishing the book themselves or if they have a book contract.

"You ain't ready for the secrets,” Parris said. “I don't care if this book sells one copy. But if it's just for me, this is what my life looked like, this is my voice for the first time.”

“Ten years of details, each person,” LeGrande said. “It's gonna be a book full of 'wow's' and 'ahh's' and 'Oh my Gods.'"

The men said they’re outraged and hurt that Long has maintained the respect of much of his 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist congregation in the face of the scandal.

LeGrande and Parris were angry and saddened when Long told his cheering congregants last fall that he would fight the allegations, comparing himself to David under attack from Goliath.

“If you read the Bible again, mister, we are David,” LeGrande told WSB. (Watch LeGrande and Parris talk about their reaction.)

In Wednesday’s interview, the men said they don’t care that talking about the case could mean risking their settlement money.

“I feel like burning [the money],” LeGrande said.

“I’m going to tell the world – money does not buy happiness,” he said. “When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number.”

In July, police arrested Parris in Miami Beach, Florida, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Parris was reportedly driving a 2011 BMW that had no tags. Florida Highway Patrol officers found 181 grams of marijuana, 50 clear plastic baggies, a Taurus semiautomatic handgun and $1,250 in the car, according to the AJC.

Parris was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. He was also charged with operating a motor vehicle with no registration, according to the AJC.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Church • Georgia • Leaders • Uncategorized

soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. I

    @KEFA34 – Please go back and read your posts. How uneducated are you? I have a little advice for you, send your own children to Long's house for a weekend slumber party. I'm sure he will show them the same discusting love he did these poor boys. God will not save your children from this very evil man.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  2. Sam

    A Thiest. It doesn't matter how long it has been around, 2000 or 2M years, my point and opinion is that it is man made and therefore evil. It is the cause of wars, greed, arrogance and any other kind of evil that can be thought of in the name of stories told over the years. Unless any of you Bible thumpers can provide tangible, physical evidence to support any miracles that have been printed and prophesized, don't expect the rest of us to jump to your side of the pew! But if it brings you peace of mind, then I'm happy for you. Peace.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • A Theist

      As long as we've established that it's an opinion I have no problem with your statement at all. And, nope, no absolute proof available so I don't think you'll be jumping on board any time soon. Evidence to suggest a God exists? Yes–but definitely not a clear cut case one way or the other. I thoroughly encourage the opinion making though!

      August 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  3. p1tey1

    HOLY COW!!! What's done in the dark inevitably comes to the light! Can't wait for this book!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  4. *frank*

    His outfits are almost as stupid and ugly as the hateful sentiments expressed in his jewish book of magic spells.
    But not quite.

    August 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  5. Sam

    One more thing . . . . religion is the root of all evil, 2000 years of mind control, murder and manipulation have proven this over and over again!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • A Theist

      Religion has been around for much longer than 2000 years. ONE religion has been around for roughly that long, is that the one you seem to have a subtle problem with?

      People are the problem, not religion. Religion in its most basic form is simply a perception of reality.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  6. Sam

    KEFA34 your narrow mindedness and religious blabbering has captured no one's attention, only lots of laughs. I feel sorry for you!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  7. dr. perry fisher

    HIV status of all

    August 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  8. Marie

    I should have known the tell all book was coming next.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  9. KEFA34

    calling on 7MEN of faith to join in turn your plate over for three days
    may jesus be with pastor eddle long /wife /church family.
    .

    August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Jake R

      What are you going on about? This is the real world sweety....not pretend time with Jesus. You make zero sense. Nice job

      August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • KEFA's On Crack

      Calling on the Nazgul to take away this man's silliness. And now for something completely different...

      August 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Fred1

      Oh don't wish that. You don't want jesus getting buggered too

      August 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  10. Joker1

    Pastor Long just looks like a flamer too!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • KEFA34

      joker be pull up by the roots and planted in the sea mountain be thou remove
      from here to their
      it is wrtten man cant live by bread alone but every word that proceed out of the mouth of G-D
      JESUS said let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Jake R

      What is KEFA 34 going on about? This is the real world sweety....not pretend time with Jesus

      August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  11. heights

    Where is the Fear of God in these people?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • sad

      They talk about the crucifiction from the pulpit, but what they are doing is the very same by their lifestyle!

      August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • KEFA34

      the fear of G-D must be in the body of belivers.
      father in this hour of jugement please have mercy on
      all of us forgive us all for our sins .
      we are sorry for letting you down
      with the selfish life that we live.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Rick

      Seems more like capitulating to a bully than worshipping a loving god

      August 26, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  12. KEFA34

    for us

    August 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • KEFA's On Crack

      You doin ok there buddy?

      August 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • ohsnap

      Take your meds.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:57 am |
  13. Jake R

    Eddie Long's congregation who still follow this man's words, are as phony as he is gay. Just another example of religious people denying anything that doesn't go along with their religion. And the people on this post who are mentioning just the fact that this kid got caught with drugs, guns and money but not mentioning the fact that this predator preyed on them as young kids are morons too.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • lamont wms

      speak the truth Jake.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  14. Nick

    The reality is, even if Long's guilty, which it's never been proven he is, these two look like money grubbing punks. You sue the guy, he pays you to go away, you blow your money, get arrested, and then want more from a "tell all book"? Typical greed.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Jake R

      The reality Nick, is you are an idiot!

      August 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • NickIsAlwaysWrong

      Nick, Nick, Nick, playing that absolute card again are we?

      August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • deerobb

      I agree with Nick. I think they should go crawl under a rock.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • sayit

      I agree; something's up with these two. I hope it's not true b/c if it is.... it's a reallllllllllll shame and a disgrace on Eddie Long.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • lamont wms

      i don't blame the guys for getting paid. has he ever said he did not perform oral sodomy on them? if Eddie Long can't tell us the truth, then i hope all FIVE accusers tell their story. i will definitely buy the books.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  15. PaigeM

    These preachers n pastors need to stop preying on these young troubled children, how are we supposed to have respect for these pastors when they are targeting these innocent troubled kids, its disgusting.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • scott501

      Profound advice. Thank you for stating the obvious

      August 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • KEFA34

      let no corrupts communication proceed out of your mouth
      but that which is good to use of edifying
      that it may minster grace unto the hearers .

      August 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  16. Ednebet

    What an idiot. All of that in the car when he had no tags?

    August 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  17. msantonet

    I can't wait to buy and read the book. I believe Long did it without a doubt in my mind. Lord have mercy; how absolutely disgusting!!! Can someone please tell him to stop wearing those tight a** shirts!!!!????

    August 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  18. crysmys

    Such hypocracy! All the politicians and ministers who preach with so much vehemence usually end up getting caught with their pants down. Disgusting! This so called godly man needs to be in jail. Sick.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • KEFA34

      I call on the body of christ to hold up in pray the beloved pastor eddle long '
      come let us go now for it is fitting for use to attain all rightness it is written man
      can not live on bread along but every word that proceeded out of the mouth of G-D
      Our father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name
      thy kingdom come thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven
      give us this day our daily allotted bread
      and forgive us our debts
      as we forgive our debtors
      and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
      for thine is the kigdom and the power and the glory
      forever amen .

      August 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • KEFA34

      I can tell you no one can escape the wrath of G-D .

      August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Rick

      Your god is a petty punk.

      August 26, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  19. You've Been Bobinated

    If I were a lawyer, I'd point out the drug and gun use as tramatic reactions to the acts of Eddie and the money as proof that he was paid to keep silent. I think the Bishop has dug himself and early metaphorical grave.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • KEFA34

      brethren if a man be overtaken in a fault ye
      which are spirtual restore
      such an one in the spirit of meekness considering thyself
      lest thiu also be tempted.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      ZOMG my ego <3's you.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  20. The Bobinator

    Wow, so he gets a bundle of money then blows it on stupid crap. GG.

    Casts doubt on his statements against Eddie. But then again, having a secret non-disclosure agreement also points to Eddit actually doing it IMO. 😛

    August 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • You've Been Bobinated

      If I were a lawyer, I'd point out the drug and gun use as tramatic reactions to the acts of Eddie and the money as proof that he was paid to keep silent. I think the Bishop has dug himself and early metaphorical grave.

      Sorry, reply didn't work for some reason.

      August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • KEFA34

      now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
      above all that we ask or think according to the power
      that workin us.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.