With all the details we got yesterday, it seems like there’s more to the Eddie Long accusations than first reported.
In statements to the press, Art Franklin, spokeperson for Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church indicated that the Bishop’s accusers were in it for something more than justice.
“It’s really unfortunate these two men have decided to take this course of action,” Franklin told Ski. “The plaintiffs, these are not innocent victims. …I just caution people to consider the sources and their motives.”
On CNN, Franklin said the plaintiffs were motived by “retaliation” and called it “a shakedown for money.”
The younger of the two defendants suing Bishop Long has tried to get a little more from New Birth and its pastor before.
One plaintiff, 20-year-old Maurice Robinson, was arrested in June in connection with a burglary at the church.
This is the same defendant who traveled with Bishop Long to New Zealand for his 18th birthday. Two years before he brought forward his claims.
Meanwhile, high profile supporters of Bishop Long, who runs the largest Baptist church in the country, are making very non-committal statements of support.
Legendary Gospel singer and pastor Marvin Sapp posted his comments via his official Facebook page this morning.
For every1 who is ready 2 crucify Bishop Eddie Long or his Accusers I would like 2 remind u of Gal 6:1 n the King James. 1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. This is were the church as a whole needs to be on this issue.
Atlanta morning show host Frank Ski, who has been attending New Birth for twelve years and lead a discussion about the scandal on the air this morning also stood by Bishop Long.
“It’s difficult for me because Bishop Long and I are very close,” he said. “I’m one of these people who’s really old school. When you’re a friend and I support you, I support you. Right now it’s allegations.”
Ski said the reaction he’s heard from fellow church members has been disbelief of the claims. But the reaction Ski’s gotten from the public at large has been far more mixed.
“It’s going to cause a lot of destruction in our community,” a caller told Ski. “I just hope it’s not true.”
Which do you think will come first: a settlement, a dismissal of the suit or more alleged victims?