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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. SilvaSurfa

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.~counterfeit scripture, but you get the point.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Lean6

      Yeah...usually tossed out there by people making excuses for or rationalizing their own patterns of behavior. Zealots are the most manipulative and often times delusional people on the planet.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  2. Pruitt Emerson

    What a pathetic couple these two phonies are. I am surprised that the Rev. Long (LOL 😉 still has congregation to preach to. People are certainly gullible in this day and age.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  3. Maria

    @ Forgiven
    I'm a Christian and I love Jesus with all my heart but I'm amazed that you are defending the "wolf" without living a word of compassion for the hurting sheep!
    Yes,God forgives us when we repent of our sins and confess them to Him but it's obvious that you idolize that man,otherwise you wouldn't be ignoring the victims while defending him!

    December 3, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Bob

      Yet god will threaten and punish you with torture forever if you so much as doubt his existence or think a different god exists.

      Any modern human court would consider such punishment barbaric, to say the least. And the threats of torture purportedly by your god could consti-tute criminal assault.

      That's one very nasty god you've made for yourself there, Maria. And totally fictional, too. Just get over your sky fairy nonsense and live the one short life that you know you have, well.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:33 am |
  4. ken

    mirasol... what rhetoric? you know very well that our introduction and adaptation to religions of all sorts was through coercion and threats of retaliation for not submitting to their belief systems. do you remember all the miserable looking faces of children sitting there while their parents and grandparents congregated for hours on hours as if the children had nothing better to do other than listening to old pastor talk sh%$!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Mirosal

      I had a strict Jesuit education. I am all too familiar with the 'scare tactics' from the priests and the nuns. I lost all faith before I was 10, I got no answers to my questions. All I was told was that I was to believe every word, and if I didn't, off to the place of fire I went.

      December 3, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Bob

      I hear you ken. I witnessed that.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  5. Joan Isenberg

    It would have been awful for women to have Mrs. Eddie Long, "Stand by her Man." Just awful.

    December 3, 2011 at 7:50 am |
    • Mirosal

      She did the right thing.. kick his a$$ to the curb. She's not a politician's wife. She isn't worried about image. Take ol' Hillary, for example. If Bill weren't the President, everything he owned would have been out on the front lawn after he got home from his tryst with Monica. But no ... she had to be the good little Stepford wife and hold his hand high and 'forgive' him. I hope the civil suits bankrupt him and his church. Can you say "Bernie Madoff"? I hope he finds a nice husband in prison, where he belongs.

      December 3, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • lesia

      Is she supposed to stand by her man until she catches a STD from him?

      December 3, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  6. Forgiven

    There is POWER in The Blood of Jesus. If a Believer sins, no matter how bad the sin is or who the person is, if they repent (turn away from their sins), confess their sins before God and ask God The Father for forgiveness, The Blood of Jesus washes them clean. There is nothing The Blood of Jesus cannot do. We must forgive others, no matter who they are. Forgiveness is something God requires all Believers to do. Believers should restore, not destroy, the Believer who has sinned. Believers and non-believers must watch their words, as the very words you speak, will fall back on your own head. You've been warned.

    December 3, 2011 at 7:44 am |
    • Mirosal

      Are you trying to scare us with your rhetoric?

      December 3, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Mirosal

      I wiouldn't want to wash in anyone's blood. Two words... bloodborne pathogens. Medical science wasn't what you'd call "advanced" 2000 years ago. i will not watch my words because of some invisible sky-fairy "watching over me" ... I am not bound by its 'rules'. I do not live in fear of an imaginary being. I live my life according to the laws of my land. I do not worry about being 'judged' for my actions. If your 'word' is so true, then why. after 2000 years, do only 20% of the planet's people even acknowledge it, instead of 100%?

      December 3, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • lesia

      What the hell does that even mean?
      Is this you Bishop Long?

      December 3, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

      This is probably THE most difficult thing for a Christian to believe. It strains the very bounds of faith, but what you said is true to the core. It is the gospel, according to the life, words, and teachings of Christ, and yet, precious few who call themselves by his name, actually believe it, accept it, or embrace it in their own lives. How incredibly different our world would be, if everyone who called him/herself a Christian, would practice this gospel message! As you correctly pointed out, failure to do so does not affect the sinner, nearly so much as it does the one who "judges" the sinner, b/c the contempt of those who judge others, exposes the one who does so to the culpability of the sin. Those who practice foregiveness will be forgiven; those who practice condemnation will be condemned. It is not just a good idea; it is the law. And there are no exceptions for one who would be a Christian, and concerned with a different way, a higher truth, and a better life.

      December 3, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Does the "blood" of Jesus include his "plasma", or does it only work if the red cells are included, or the platelet count is above 200,000 ? What if he was anemic, and his RBC count was a bit low ? Does the deity accept the sacrifice in that case ?

      December 3, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Lean6

      @Roadrunner. Think about this. He knew the ending before the beginning. If anyone can explain how "free will" fits into that, and how not to think that some of us were born into this world condemned before we took our first breath, I sincerely would appreciate the perspective. Don't rattle off the same scriptures and misdirection i've listened to for the past 40 years. Don't get mad and tell me the devil's at work and that I just don't want to believe, and that when i'm ready my eyes and heart will be opened to receive the word. Just offer a plain language explanation. For now, i'm holding on to a mustard seed, and I just try not to think about it.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Bob

      Roadrunner, it is not only difficult to believe. It is complete nonsense.

      December 3, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Rick

      Forgiven....your warning is a joke. You are a windbag spewing forth empty proxy threats. Your god is a hoax. Get back on your knees

      December 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      There is a flaw in this thing about the "blind' forgiveness so many of now days Christians ar falling in for....
      IS don't' believe that many even know that real forgiveness is, so they make the world which is full of cunning people lead them by the nose... There has to be some balance in it, accompanied with wisdom, an above all the spirit of discernment. Or else, any theatrical performance of professional "repenter' can make fools out of them.
      But to know if you've truly for given someone is when you desire his/her restoration instead of punishment, and when you know that to see this person come to they Lord with with all his heart, you would be exceedingly glad.
      This is your release from condemning him.
      But to say that forgiving someone is to act like he never has done anything, and continue with them as nothing never happened, this is the flaw that satan loves to throw at Christians , because in this way he disarms them so that they have no standards and no convictions which are necessary for them to be able to stand against the blow of his onslaughts, and no discernment to be able to tell the difference. Jesus never comforted false repenters, nor pated them on the back .
      Anyone can shed crocodile tears, when they're caught in wrong. But why don't they come out on their own, prompted by their consciences and confess their deeds? If they did that, then it would ber another matter... But they only give their theatrical performance of contrit-ion when they are exposed, while denying it along the way, till every hole is dug out and they can't deny them no longer....
      So, for you to say what you said, Forgiven, is a washed out, one sided picture of Christianity! It does not compare to reality.

      December 3, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  7. ken

    many of us have been coerced into religions by our parents and grandparents who not only submitted to something foreign to them but, they would out right physically discipline you for refusing to coincide with their brand or version religion...not spirituality

    December 3, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  8. madmoma

    Mrs. Long, I just want you to know, you are not alone in this. My prayers go up for you and your loved ones. Do what you have to do, for you heath & walfare. I admire you, keep your faith in God, not on man. You derserve so much more, you have no obligation to the church. God is your salvation, it is yours and yours alone. God bless you and keep always!!

    December 3, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  9. GullibleChristians

    Gullible christians still believe he is the god.

    December 3, 2011 at 4:20 am |
    • madmoma

      No one thinks he is God. His church beleaves he was a messenger of the word. What you do in the dark will come to the light.

      December 3, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  10. Kenny Jorayta

    A preacher like Eddie long...should be beheaded publicly.

    December 3, 2011 at 3:49 am |
    • johnfrichardson

      No.

      December 3, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • madmoma

      Agree with you. False profits will be judge according to there works. Think of all the people he has mislead & stolen from!! His judgement shall come from God & God only!!

      December 3, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  11. concern villager

    Eddie Long..you don't know him?...Tsk!Tsk!..too bad...I don't know him either.Who care?

    December 3, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  12. wovoka

    It seems he is all but out now with the Jerry Curl, Mandarin shirt, and designer glasses.

    December 3, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • belinda

      I guess when his pe.nis tasted like fecal matter it was just too much for her.

      December 3, 2011 at 3:43 am |
  13. Reality

    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 3, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  14. no more tax exempt status!

    "religious" organizations and all other parasites claiming "non-profit" status to avoid paying taxes are a scam.
    The people who create and run these con games profit handsomely and live like kings.
    Deficit will disappear when these parasites on society all start carrying their weight

    December 3, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  15. AvdBerg

    Eddie Long is a false apostle who has transformed himself into an apostle of Christ (2 Cor. 11:13-15). He follows and serves the spirit of this world and preaches a false Christ (Matthew 24:24). He is spiritually blind (1 Cor. 2:14) and doesn’t know what spirit he serves (Luke 9:55).

    For a better understanding why people keep reaching out to these blind guides (Matthew 23:16,24) and what spirit Eddie Long serves, we invite you to read the article ‘False Apostles and False Christs’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The following is an excerpt from the article ‘False Apostles and False Christs’.

    “Most articles that were used for the book ‘A World Deceived’ were written fifteen to twenty years ago, and since those days many other false prophets have sprung up. Most of them have built themselves multi-million dollar empires of the riches of this world, while they prey on the people of this world through their philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of this world and not after Christ (Col. 2:8).

    Some of them are: Kenneth Copeland, Jack Van Impe, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Jonathan Falwell, Pat Robertson, etc., etc. and in the future there will be others, even more deceptive than the ones previously mentioned, for this is what the people of this world desire as they refuse to believe in the true and living God.”

    And the following is an excerpt from the article ‘Boston University ~ School of Theology and Stonehill College’.

    “The dark days of God's judgment are already here, just ask Bishop Eddie Long from Atlanta, who like yourself was born in sin, separated from God and unless he repents and turns from darkness to light and from the power of Satan (whose spirit he is of) unto God, he will die in his sin (Acts 26:18; Romans 8;13)”.

    Also, to give people a better understanding of the destructive forces (Eph. 6:12) behind CNN, Fox, US Politics and the issues that divide this world, we invite you to read the articles ‘CNN Belief Blog ~ Sign of the Times’ and ‘Influence of the Media’.

    CNN (Dan Gilgoff & Eric Marrapodi) is very familiar with the message we preach and with the content of our website. So, why will they not print any spiritual truth and any of our articles, instead of promoting false apostles (Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Ted Haggard, Rick Warren, Eddie Long, etc., etc.)? Is it because our articles are after the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive (John 14:17)?

    If you like to see any of them printed on the CNN Belief Blog may we suggest you send them an e-mail (dan.gilgoff@cnn.com; eric.marrapodi@cnn.com).

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9.

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

    December 2, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • AvdBerg is a Spamming Imbecile

      STOP SPAMMING!!!
      YOUR WEBSITE IS INSIPID GARBAGE!!!

      December 2, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      1 Cor. 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
      http://WWW.AWORLDDECEIVED.CA

      December 3, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Get Real

      Avd,
      "CNN (Dan Gilgoff & Eric Marrapodi) is very familiar with the message we preach and with the content of our website"

      Only very familiar because you have probably spammed their mailboxes with your propaganda, just like you do here.

      Go play "Dueling Banjos" with the rest of those schlock evangelical fundie preachers - knock yourself out.

      December 3, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • oUIDA bolton

      Well my feelings are hurt and i feel So stupid! I used to watch TBN everyday AND donated 10%! But with all the scandals and Bentleys, multimillion dollar homes, rolls royces, planes, Paula Whilte and Benny Hinn affairs then divorces, Eddie Long down low and low down, TD JAKES and Creflo Dollar baziions, etc. Esp when you know Jesus didnt live in prosperity!
      Hey, I drive a FORD! Sorry TBN but I am no longer with all that carrying on

      December 3, 2011 at 4:00 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Eddy Long may be lying weasel, who doesn't lack company of many like him, but you yourself are a CULT leader/member. Your website is filled with twisted heresies!

      December 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  16. Fr

    Praise the Lord! Finally a wife of one of these perverters of the lords word standing up for her self! Hetman Cains wife should take heed.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • jeanniB

      he (herman cain) came to my mind as well when l read about eddie long's wife divorcing him....l believe she's(mrs. long) is a battered women ...it takes a long time to finally gather the courage to leave...l wish her strenght in the comming days...karma is finally working on eddie long!...

      December 3, 2011 at 5:00 am |
  17. George

    Man, this country is rife with ho.mos.exuals. Eddie Long, that preacher out west whose name escapes me (Haggard or something), the university scandals to name just a few, a very few. I agree that these guys need the Old Testament punishment. They are just wasting space and corrupting our youth.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Babooph

      Little Bush had gay Haggard given "special" control over religion at the US air force academy...the endless mess of that presidency...

      December 3, 2011 at 4:38 am |
  18. lastofall

    Strictly a worldly matter, with no heavenly principles at all.

    December 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  19. youra hogg

    He is a fudge packer

    December 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  20. TN

    who the hell is Eddie Long?

    December 2, 2011 at 9:54 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.