Some current and former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church expressed relief Thursday that sexual misconduct lawsuits against the church and its prominent leader, Bishop Eddie Long, have been resolved.Word on the streets (aka: Black Folks Twitter) is that Long settled for a cool $15 Million dollars!!!
Attorneys involved in the four lawsuits against Long, the LongFellows Youth Academy and the 25,000-member Lithonia megachurch said the case had been settled but declined to comment further. The case is expected to be dismissed "with prejudice" -- meaning the defendant cannot be sued by the plaintiffs again in the same alleged offense -- by close of business Friday, said Barbara Marschalk, who represents New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and LongFellows Youth Academy.
B.J. Bernstein, who represents the four men who sued Long, New Birth and the academy, also confirmed the lawsuits had been settled. The academy was named in three of the suits.
Without a settlement, the case would have likely gone to trial this summer or fall.
I wonder where that money's coming from? If I'm a member of New Birth I'd prolly want some assurance that my tithes and offerings aren't going towards this. Nah, bump assurance, I want proof that my money isn't being spent to protect what remains of Eddie Long's reputation.
Sorry to get all preachy, because I absolutely hate it when people stereotype all preachers with the same "shady" umbrella. But I'd be giving Long a serious side eye if I was a member of New Birth right about now. If you did nothing wrong, you fight this tooth and nail in court. Even if you exhumed the body of Johnnie Cochran to defend you, you wouldn't run up a $15M legal bill, so saying "it was cheaper to avoid a trial" is pure bullsh*t. Since he chose not to fight that most scurrilous allegation someone can levy against a man, I'm gonna have to assume that much of that his accusers said is true. What other conclusion would a sensible person come to?
Since this is all a done deal, there's no need to remain silent anymore.
Question: Does this settlement surprise you? Did Long play this one perfectly or what? Will these allegations follow him for life or will they be a mere footnote in his epitaph?