The megachurch pastor accused of luring four young men into sexual relationships categorically denied the allegations for the first time in a court filing Monday, saying he was only a mentor to the men who filed civil lawsuits against him.And now, a classic Eddie Long clip.
Bishop Eddie Long has for weeks vowed he would fight the lawsuits in court, and promised in church sermons he would not let the legal troubles prevent him from doing its work. While his attorney has denied the allegations on his behalf, Long had not refuted them publicly until he filed his legal response. He said in the filing that each of the "claims of sexual misconduct are not true."
Long, though, said in the four separate documents that he often encouraged his New Birth Missionary Church members to call him "daddy" and that some even called him "grandaddy," but that the term was a sign of respect.
The bishop also said in the documents that he has long shared rooms with some of his church members, and that his parishioners often hug him. And while he admitted to giving the plaintiffs gifts, he said he often provided many members of his church with financial assistance.
Two of the young men say he targeted them after they enrolled in the church's LongFellows Youth Academy, a program that taught teens about sexual, physical and financial discipline. The other two - one of whom attended a satellite church in Charlotte, N.C. - have made similar claims.
Local and state authorities have declined to investigate because Georgia's age of consent is 16. And Long, for his part, has promised in church sermons that he would not let his legal troubles prevent him or his church from doing its work.
[Editor's Completely Unrelated Aside: Since we're on the topic of sperm, what's with all these random "celebrity" babies on the way? Kat Stacks is knocked up with a Lil' Soulja Boy. Amber Rose is pregnant by Fabolous. Omarosa got "Green Miled". For three chicks who've been all hailed as "women's liberators" of various degrees, getting knocked up by some random guy seems like an awfully stereotypical move.]
Face it, folks. We'll never know what happened between Long and these kids. This case will quietly be settled out of court sometime in the near future. Long will admit no wrongdoing, the boys will get some money for counseling, and New Birth's congregation will prolly have forgotten about this whole thing by the time TI gets back out of jail.
That's just how we roll.