Bishop Eddie Long's wife files for divorce
Bishop Eddie Long has denied allegations that he sexually coerced male congregants.
December 2nd, 2011
09:29 AM ET

Bishop Eddie Long's wife files for divorce

By the CNN Wire Staff

ATLANTA (CNN) -Vanessa Long, the wife of Georgia televangelist Bishop Eddie Long, is not withdrawing the divorce petition filed Thursday, despite a statement issued through her husband's church indicating that she had reconsidered, her lawyer said Friday.

"Consistent with her original statement made this morning, Mrs. Long continues to hope that this matter may be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly; however, she has determined that dismissal of her divorce petition is not appropriate at this time," said Michael W. Tyler, a partner with the Atlanta-based firm, Kilpatrick Townsend.

"To avoid any undue confusion, Mrs. Long's future statements, if any, will be issued through her attorneys only. At this time, neither she nor we will have any further comment on this matter."

The statement, sent Friday night, was the latest twist in a divorce saga that emerged Thursday, when lawyers for Vanessa Long filed divorce documents in Superior Court in DeKalb County, Georgia.

Vanessa and Eddie Long are "living in a bona fide state of separation," according to the 12-page petition. The documents adds she "is entitled to a divorce upon grounds that the marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken, there being no hope of reconciliation of the parties, and it being in the best interest of all parties concerned that this marriage be terminated by divorce."

On Friday, in a statement released to reporters by her lawyer, Vanessa Long said, "It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly. I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter."

But this appears counter to another statement also attributed to Vanessa Long and issued Friday afternoon by New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, 18 miles east of Atlanta.

According to that statement, she says, "Upon prayerful reflection, I have reconsidered and plan to withdraw my petition for divorce from my husband, Bishop Eddie L. Long. I love my husband."

Bishop Long is senior pastor of the church, which has more than 25,000 members, according to its website.

"I believe in him and admire his strength, and courage," Vanessa Long said, according to this statement. "My filing followed years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me.

"I love my family and church family, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Therefore, my husband and I have mutually agreed to find healing from these attacks. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time."

New Birth's website describes Vanessa Long as "the quiet strength" in the family. "She is an inspiration to many of the women at New Birth as they watch her lovingly and quietly support her husband in every sense of the word."

Long is being sued by former parishioners who accuse him of persuading them to invest in a Ponzi scheme that wiped out at least $1 million in their retirement savings.

And last spring, Bishop Long settled a lawsuit filed by four young men who accused him of pressuring them into sexual relationships while they were teenagers and members of Long's congregation at the same north Georgia church.

That suit alleged that 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."

Long has preached passionately against homosexuality for years.

In an August interview, two of Long's accusers said they were haunted by what happened between them and the powerful pastor and added they are writing a tell-all book about their experiences.

"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," Jamal Parris, one of the accusers, told CNN affiliate WSB.

Parris pointed to a "JL" tattoo on his arm, which he said stands for "Jamal Long." He said Long was with him when he got the tattoo.

He said that he grew up without a father and that Long preyed on that vulnerability. "To have a man love me for just who I was. I just had to be me and love him back," Parris said.

–CNN's Mia Aquino contributed to this story in Atlanta.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Leaders

soundoff (866 Responses)
  1. Teresa

    Jesus – is not the author of sin and his not the one responsible for the choices of ANYBODY. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and I am afraid for many on this post who have to stand before HIM on judgment day and give account of the comments you have and will make today. HE is the Alpha (Beginning)and Omega (End), and HE will have the final word.May God have mercy on your soul.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • ad

      how do you know GOD is not a FEMALE?

      December 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Bob

      yeah, because if god ain't in a merciful mood, he'll torture you forever for even the most minor offenses in your painfully short mortal life.

      No thanks. You can keep your ass-hole of a god. To yourself. Quietly, please.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Jesus

      Yes, I am responsible.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Eddie Long

      I can't help that I love little boys ding dings in my mouth!!!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Robert

      Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla,,,, I hope some day you stand before the Easter bunny... I'm going to let you in on a little secret. There is no god....

      December 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  2. Furious Styles

    CNN NEEDS to update. She has since WITHDRAWN from divorce proceedings hours and hours ago.

    December 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Par for the course

      They will probably report on it ina couple weeks. CNN is almost never as current as other news organizations by the way.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  3. Ludascooba

    Truly I must say, the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is certainly close. God's judgement for sin is starting at the church. God is SICK of sin on every side and at every turn. America is going to be burned to the ground for being inhabited with so many false doctrines, teachers, and devils. Come Lord Jesus!!

    December 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Dunlar

      Or not, there's always that.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Rick

      "Truly I must say, the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is certainly close."

      Gee, first time we've heard THAT, eh?

      December 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • JT

      Come lord jeeeezus...come!!! Yes! yes! Grow a brain you end-of-world imbecile.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Me

      Grow up! There is no need of making fun of religion. Don't like it, don't practice it.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • pavlovscat

      My own. Personal. Cheezus.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bob

      Sure, your god is sick. Really sick. He'll torture you forever for even the most minor offenses in your painfully short mortal life, even for reasonable doubt in the lack of any evidence.

      No thanks. You can keep your ass-hole of a god. To yourself. Quietly, please.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Charles

      Once upon a time, I might have agreed with you...but more recently, the more aggressive elements of conservative protestant christianity have been inserting themselves in places they do not belong, such as science classrooms and national politics. If religion wants to be "left alone" it should mind its place.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Bob

      And Eddie has been inserting himself in little boys where he doesn't belong.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Par for the course


      You guys have been saying any day now for what 2000 years or so? I thin you should stick to coloring books. they are probably more your speed.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  4. Argle Bargle

    Eddie Long came up short!

    Did she finally figure out he was faking all those orgasms?

    December 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  5. NIJA

    Do not cast the first stone

    December 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      If someone had, there wouldn't have been the big failure of the Crystal Cathedral. It's important that stones get cast against these false, perverted, thieving preachers. Better yet, huge, massive stones that weigh about a ton each.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • jellylee2020

      Why not? Your God smite people all the time. People die horrible deaths all the time for no good reasons so I'll cast the first, the last and the many stones in between.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  6. Shane Botwin

    And the idiots just keep handing him money.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • queenbee

      She should get herself checked out for STDs

      December 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Greg

      She'll come out with MILLIONS! There is a special palce in HELL for people who feed upon the weak minded!

      December 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • JC

      My thoughts exactly. Just add his name to the list of Swaggart; Baker; etc. Jesus said if you do to the least of these you do unto me, not give to the preachers and be blessed.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  7. Hooligan


    gods will was for her to divorce him.

    say it's not true as it was forseen by god before time even existed.

    I love your your own stupid religion backfires in your personal lives.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • eerobat

      She already changed her mind.... does anyone at CNN even know whats going on?

      December 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  8. It doesn't matter

    Can somebody please tell me what is that on the top of his head. It looks like a cross between a jerry curl toupee and road kill.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • shelly

      It's probably the pubic hair of all the boys he's "allegedly" molested over the years.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      Its hair from Ted Haggard's chest, pits and pubes.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • yee!


      December 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Par for the course

      Maybe he uses Soul Glo.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  9. Can't find my post

    Yes, this looks like the devil's playground. I'm outta here...

    December 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Lean6

      Blame everything that doesn't go your way on the devil, or stick your head in the sand...same difference. Take responsiblity for your own actions and write a coherent post that adheres to the rules. If even a half-wit can figure out how to cuss and write vulgar things on here without being censored, and you can't, the problem is you.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Castiel

      Thank you Lord, for removing this idjit from our midst.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Par for the course

      Wow...maybe there really is a god after all.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  10. brick

    Im a Christian...I wont judge but God definitely WILL!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Lean6

      Sometimes Christians go overboard with the ideal statements and sentiments, and lack of individual responsibility. Flatly stated, only a fool, or someone inhuman doesn't "judge". People who don't have instincts of discernment die young...we call them slow...or victims. Often times, these are the people who stand by and allow pedophiles to hurt people, all because they didn't want to "judge". Strangely enough, I miss the days of my youth in the church when I couldn't see man for what he truly is. My walk with God has long been an individual one because of creeps like Eddie Long.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • pavlovscat

      Clearly you're not a REAL Christian.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Par for the course


      What you just said is judgement on your part. You try to act better than that, but the fact is, you have already judged this man (deservingly so I'd say) and alluded that he will receive punishment. That is judging him.

      The next time you go to church maybe you ought to ask your pastor to teach you about judgement.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  11. Can't find my post

    I can't find my post. Are pro-Bishop comments censored here? Is this forum biased???!!!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • 16halo

      Seriously! That is absolute nonsense.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • JT

      That you can't have the word t-i-t embedded in a word is beyond ridiculous. Can't even type consti-tution for that horrible 3 letter word is is there.

      December 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Helpful Hints


      They removed my list of tips about the filter-flagging letter combinations.... hmmmmm?

      CNN – when you fix this filter... or at include a clue about it in your "Rules for Posting", it won't be necessary for us to spread the word.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Oy! Now it's back... with an "awaiting moderation" tag on it - what the...?

      December 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  12. Reality

    Way beyond Long's problems:

    To wit:

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adulterous preachers like Long, pedophiliac clerics like Long, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals like Long and atonement theology,

    December 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • meinellimu

      How ignorant!!! By your statement you are suggesting that historians like Josephus were also hallucinationg and that you are smarter than any other historian who actually confirmed Jesus a true prophet greater than any other prophet ever known.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Sheldon

      It's obvious, you don't know Him. Sad.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • gino

      Ok so tell me what triggered the big bang then? What created the stuff that caused the spark that the bang came from? Make that make sense to me and I'm all yours. Also, can you tell me what happens after all this? Can that distingushed historian you are telling us about tell us that?

      December 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, have you checked on how much money Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen got paid for this slop they wrote (LOL)?


      December 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Reality

      o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Reality

      From: Josephus – The Essential Works

      by Paul Maier, http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      "For Christians, books 18 through 20 of the Antiquities are far and away the most important sections in all of Josephus' writings, since they provide a rich background for the entire New Testament era. Happily, they are also the most authoritative chapters in the Antiquities since at long last Josephus is either an eyewitness of direct contemporary of the events he is reporting. His paragraphs on John the Baptist show Jesus' forerunner from a fresh vantage point, while his portrayal of crucial events in the career of Pontius Pilate help explain that governor's pressured performance at the trial of Jesus. In the case of Jesus' brother James, he even provides crucial addenda to the New Testatment, which does not tell us how James died. Josephus does!

      His two celebrated references to Jesus – Antiquities 18:63 and 20:200 – have provoked an enormous quant-ity of scholarly literature. The const-itute the largest block of first-century evidence for Jesus outside of biblical or Christian sources, and may well be the reason that the vast works of Josephus survived manuscript transmission across the centuries almost intact when other great works, like those of Nicolas of Damascus, were totally lost. But are the Jesus references authentic?"

      See the rest of the article for a discussion about this question.

      See also: Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      December 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Par for the course

      Guess what Gino? Though science can not give you that answer yet, your religion does not have an answer for the big bang either and it never will because your religion does not rely on facts.

      December 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  13. JRev

    She just announced that she is NOT divorcing him now. If you pray enough, "God" will "tell" you whatever it is that you are wanting to hear. I guess she prayed too much.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  14. shukurac

    What took her so long?

    December 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • meinellimu


      December 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  15. RES

    What about the fools that gave him the money and defended his greed?! They paid for evil doings.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • gino

      You can't know the outcome of every investment. Dont blame them.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  16. here we go again

    I think being christian is accepting who you are, that means if your gay... accept it, thats when you start to grow as a person, oh I forgot if your gay your going to hell, not true....stop hating yourself over your body biology, that you have no control over.......start living!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • meinellimu

      the MAP's too are claiming biological make up.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • liz48

      You do have control over how you behave if you stop believing the lie that you were born gay; but look into the spiritual reality that demonic influences could have even influenced you as a child or when you were in your mother's womb.

      God says sodomy is something He hates together with beastiality. He tells us to flee fornication and adultery...You don't get a pass by saying you were born to commit adultery...you just do not do it because you want to please God and not have the devil controlling your life...

      December 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Castiel

      Liz...the world you live in seems to be pretty narrow. Enjoy yourself in there, and accept that others will live their lives outside your 'rules', and it won't make them sinners. You have no idea what God actually hates or doesn't hate.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  17. PKingDuck

    HA HA HA. The low down preacher on the down low got dumped.
    A snake oil salesman is a snake oil salesman no matter what comes out of his mouth!

    December 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  18. David Somers

    The ROTTEN CORE of Christianity is being exposed. Time to leave your churches and be your own savior.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • liz48

      Time to leave the church and read your Bible and seek the Lord on your own...He said that we are to call no man our teacher or father, but only God was to be our Teacher and Our Father – Matthew 23:8-10. God also told us that He will teach us as we seek Him and He has put His ways and laws into our hearts (minds)...

      December 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • really concerned about your statement

      Jesus is the Savior of the world. We must believe in Him for our salvation. Jesus..Himself stated that he did not entrusted himself to a man because he knew what was in a man. People, our focus should be on Him. Eddie Long has failed greatly as we all have and will do at some point. But, Jesus is Perfect, Holy and Forgiving. David, my prayer is that you will accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and If you don't He loves you anyway. That's why he suffered on the cross.....just for you. God Bless you REAL GOOD!

      December 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • gino

      You confuse human error with idealogical norths. Its purpose is for you to seek to be better. It tells of mans nature to be sinful. So OFCOURSE you will have things like this!! What person do you know that is perfect? Should we all just give up and say F-it! Do whatever to each other until we are nothing?

      December 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Castiel

      @really concerned: I hope you're going for a bit of comedy, but I fear you're not. God bless you REAL HARD. Upside the HEAD.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  19. house

    I SEE YOU...

    December 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  20. abtime

    What took her so long? Why do people expect women to tolerate the humiliation, denigration and devastation these wayward men bring into their lives? She should have divorced him long before all others gained access to his money. Now she will probably be short changed on that end too.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • meinellimu

      What took her so long. Long

      December 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
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About this blog

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.