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. teams33

    What took her so long???

    December 4, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  2. jj

    Wonder if she will get one of the 'church'-supplied Bentleys?
    How can people be this dumb, to follow an obvious charlatan like Long!

    December 4, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  3. Lost

    He looks gay.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Well obviously he's at least bi.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  4. bob


    December 4, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • evangelic535

      John (13:9) Listen thou, as these words that thou speak only sink thee deeper in the lies of thy enemies.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  5. A4mrtheist

    Its great when these religious hypocrites get get their due. Just feel bad for the victims. All religions are based on a mythical god figure so its bound to happen. Who want to believe in a god who says do it my way or go to hell. Great choice!
    Jesus had his gang of gay twelve so it was hypocrisy from the start. Nothing wrong with being gay just don't be a hypocrite.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  6. John


    December 4, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • .......

      TRASH ALERT don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL

      December 5, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  7. believer6

    Paul's letter to the Etruscans (16:5:9) says it all: "Let those that doubt these teachings, bring that which is theirs to those who teach false wisdom, as that bread will be eaten as wine"
    If that doesn't prove Bishop Long is innocent, I don't know what can.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • evangelic535

      Get your scripture right, That passage (116:5:9) reads: "let those "who" doubt these teachings."
      When taken in proper context, it's clear that, although he's innocent in the eyes of god, it is up to man
      to judge that which thou does as thou doest.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  8. Chris

    As a Christian I can understand why the largest problem for others to accept the teachings of Christianity are the actions of Christian leaders. The bad do get rooted out.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • jj

      And replaced with other baddies.

      December 4, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    He has a congregation of the mentally disabled so do not pick on him or he may take all their little boys to Disney world and buy them an X BOX before his wife gets all his MULA after the divorce proceedings. All of his congregation may file for D-I-V-O-R-C-E if she wineths the case. I think the divorce lawyers are attending his sermons after the crew is dismissed to get some more clients. Who knows? You can't tell a lawyer from a pastor. They are all crooked.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  10. endtime

    The Bible says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Don't let false teachers and false prophets send you to HELL. Go to Jesus yourself and pray for the truth. Jesus said many will come in My name. They are deceiving people by the droves. They themselves are HELL BOUND.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:03 am |

      10-4 Dude. Tell us more!

      December 4, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  11. Sasha

    About time she filed !

    December 4, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  12. denise107

    Hopefully she will get HIV tested and has a healthy life.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:20 am |

      I am not allowed to make comments on this subject because I speak to much TRUTH and the moderators do not like DIRECT TRUTH spoken on their sites but I will attempt to speak on this REPLY site.

      Jesus NEVER said a single thing GOOD about ANY RELIGION, RELIUGIOUS LEADERS, CRAFTED TEMPLES or the DEVIL. They are the ***SAME BALL OF WAX***. You are lead there by the ones that Christ told you to 'HATE' in Luke 14:26 but they prefer their pastors LIES about that verse over the inspired words of God.

      I'll stop there and let the moderators CRUCIFY this reply as their ancestors did to Christ.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:44 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Walkinglass - Before you get all paranoid and persecuted and whiny, learn that there is a very pesky Automatic Word Filter here:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      December 4, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  13. Jose M. Pulido

    I hope Herman Cain's wife doesn't get any divorce ideas from Rev. Long's wife.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:35 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Why? If Herman Cain did the things he is accused of, doesn't his wife deserve a divorce if that is what she wants?

      December 4, 2011 at 5:39 am |

      She already had that idea but Mrs. Cain was holding back because she wanted to be famous in being the THIRD lady when he got to the white house.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • teams33

      What was he thinking? A Multi-Millionaire with a cush part time retirement job and decides to give it ALL up to run for President. Now he is scre&ed.

      December 4, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  14. Jerry Sandusky

    The road to Hell is paved with hate and self-righteousness.

    December 4, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  15. mmi16

    And one wonders why there are 'non-believers'.

    Show me the money!

    December 4, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  16. 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 4, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  17. Sheila-Marie

    She's still in it for the money...He's a little boy bicycle seat sniffer. Woman, you have NOTHING he wants. Be glad you had your children before he could give you a fatal illness. Just get your $ and go! "...Whatever is done in darkness, will be revealed in the light..."

    December 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  18. HotAirAce

    Truth, your comments are disgusting. Are you a christian?

    December 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  19. KeithTexas

    If Eddie wants to continue phucking little boys Mrs long should go ahead and go before she gets AIDS from her pervert husband.

    December 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  20. Mildred the Mouth

    "Though the degree is unrecognized, Long states that he holds a doctorate in "Pastoral Ministry" from the unaccredited International College of Excellence, a Bible college accredited by an organization that is not recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or United States Department of Education, the two inst'itutions responsible for recognizing educational accrediting inst'itutions in the United States"
    He is a complete fraud. Who decided he was a "bishop" ? Himself ? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    December 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Are you laughing because you haven't looked it up?

      December 4, 2011 at 10:27 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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.