Controversial anti-gay bishop Eddie Long is seeking to mediate a settlement over charges he coerced four young men into having sexual relations with him, a CNN report said. Many observers see the megachurch pastor's move as an effort to avoid a potentially nasty, public trial.Okay, seriously, who didn't see this one coming? Pardon the pun. And [pause].
The decision to seek a settlement runs contrary to Eddie Long's earlier pronouncements. He had earlier vowed to fight the allegations in court.
Anthony Flagg, 21, Maurice Robinson, 20, Jamal Parris, 23, and Spencer LeGrande, 22, earlier filed separate charges against the megachurch pastor for using his influence to lure them into homosexual relationships with him. The plaintiffs alleged the anti-gay bishop took them on trips abroad, shared rooms with them and lavished them with gifts including a car, cash and jewelry – in exchange for sex.
All four young men, who are former members of Long's Atlanta-based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, said they were in their teens when the bishop sexually coerced them. The young males said Eddie Long had "a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as bishop over them to ultimately bring them to engage in sexual relationships."
In his legal response to the suits the anti-gay bishop said each of the allegations "are not true."
Bishop Eddie Long rose to prominence when he transformed a small congregation in Atlanta into a megachurch with 25,000 followers; among them high-profile celebrities and politicians.
The married pastor, a father of four, is an outspoken critic of gays and lesbians. The Southern Poverty Law Center published an article in 2007 calling Bishop Eddie Long as "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement."
In his first public address since the megachurch scandal was exposed, Eddie Long faced his congregation and said "I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television. That's not me. That is not me."
I could add some in-depth analysis on what the implications of this are for Long's church, why settling when you claim you're innocent is dead wrong, and how Long's actions only further tarnish the reputation of the black church, but it's a Tuesday. Who's got energy for all that?
So how about a YouTube instead?!?
That clip never, ever, ever gets old. Ever.
Seriously, now that I think about it, Long and his attorneys played this one perfectly, which just goes to show that I had no idea what I was doign when I gave him my Completely Unsolicited Advice. He said just enough to get people off his back (ie: playing the Clay Davis victim role to a tee). Then he went on about his business, pretending the sh*t never happened, knowing how Negroes' attention spans last about as long as an episode of Basketball Wives. Eventually something else would become "the story", Long would pay the boys (hopefully not from the building fund!) to go away and shut up, and in 6 months nobody would even remember this ever happened.
Yup, worked like a charm.
Cross it up, New Birth!!!
Question: What's your postmortem on the Eddie Long saga?
 The season premiere was turrible and boring. I don't see this lasting much longer on my Tivo Season Pass.