ST LOUIS (LALATE EXCLUSIVE) – The Vanessa Long divorce from Eddie Long proceeded in a DeKalb Courthouse yesterday. On December 1, Vanessa Long filed for divorce from Bishop Eddie Long; but on December 5, Eddie Long’s attorneys claimed Vanessa Long had withdrawn her lawsuit. She never did. On Monday, defendant Eddie Long’s proof of service was filed within the DeKalb Superior Court.
Vanessa Long has retained three attorneys in the matter before Superior Court judge Tangela M Barrie. Eddie Long (case number 11CV12748) has retained William Bradley Hill.
After news of the divorce was revealed, Long’s spokesperson Art Franklin confirmed that the Bishop would be taking a break from New Birth. Bishop long told his congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church that he would continue at a Lithonia church as senior pastor.
Bishop Eddie Long has told news for “privacy and sensitivity to … [his] family.” He added “Vanessa and I are working together in seeking God’s will in our current circumstances.” Vanessa Long, however, did not join with the Bishop in releasing that news statement.
In 2004, Long’s ministry received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Administration of Children & Families under the Bush Administration. But recently, New Birth and/or Eddie Long paid a reported $15 million settlement to accusers Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris, Anthony Flagg and Maurice Robinson.
Flagg and Robinson had demanded $20 million in settlement for the pair earlier in the litigation. Later in negotiations, the price allegedly dropped to $20 million, claim news report. One alleged victim reportedly demanded a public apology.
No such public comment was given after the settlement was reached. The alleged abuse case did not head to criminal court thereafter because the alleged acts occurred when the boys were at least seventeen years old; Georgia’s legal age of consent is sixteen.
When the scandal erupted, Long said “I am not going to try this case in the media”. When the scandal settled, Long said “This decision was made to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry…. The resolution is the most reasonable road for everyone to travel.”