|Fourth Man Files Lawsuit against Anti-gay Church Leader Eddie Long
By Dyana Bagby
September 24, 2010
A fourth man is suing Eddie Long, the anti-gay leader of megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, first reported by the Associated Press.
The lawsuit was filed by Spencer Legrande, a former member of New Birth’s satellite church in Charlotte, N.C.
“The lawsuit said Long told LeGrande ‘I will be your dad’ and invited the 17-year-old to journey to Kenya with him in July 2005. LeGrande said that Long gave him a sleeping pill on that trip and that the two engaged in sexual acts,” the AP reports.
A press release from the lawyers representing the now four plaintiffs reads in full:
"This afternoon, lawyers BJ Bernstein of The Bernstein Firm, Jay Sadd of the law firm of Slappey and Sadd, and Katherine V. Hernacki of The Hernacki Law Firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Spencer LeGrande suing Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The lawsuit alleges Breach of Fiduciary Duty; Negligence; Fraud; Infliction of Emotional Distress and other Counts based on Sexual Acts by Bishop Long against this young male church member.
"Mr. LeGrande has alleged in the complaint that he met Bishop Long when he was 15 years old at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC where he and his mother were among the founding families. Mr. LeGrande accompanied the Bishop on several international trips, including trips to Kenya and South Africa. Mr. LeGrande relocated to Atlanta at the behest of Bishop Long in order to attend Beulah Heights University. Intimate contact began with the first Africa trip and extended through Mr. LeGrande's time living in Atlanta.
There will be no press conference, and no statements from the attorneys or this courageous young man, who is another David stepping forward against Goliath."
Long also spoke on a telephone conference call today, according to Atlanta’s CBS affiliate station, saying, “We will arise through this situation, and go forward, and we are moving forward," to pastors in on the phone call, the station reported. The call was also with parishioners from across the country, the station reported.
According to CBS Atlanta, Long said he did not know who was in on the phone call so he had to be careful what he said due to the pending litigation.
"I have never dealt with anything like this before. I have been under attack before, but everything else has been different levels and different challenges," Long said on the call, according to the station.
Long never said he was innocent during the phone call, according to CBS Atlanta. However, Long's attorney, Craig Gillen, has said the charges are false.
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