*Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande, Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg, the four men who accused Bishop Eddie Long of sexual coercion back in 2010 said Monday that they will publish a book on how the megachurch pastor affected their lives. Their lawsuit against him was settled in May 2011. A fifth accuser, Centino Kemp, came forward as the lawsuit entered a mediation process. An undisclosed financial settlement was reached soon after.
As word spread Sunday about Long’s death after an alleged bout with cancer — the four young men, all in their mid-to-late-20s now — shared with the media their thoughts about the pastor’s legacy.
“We’ve been hearing from people from all walks of life — the media, celebrities, gospel singers — wanting to hear what we think,” said Spencer LeGrande.
LeGrande, Robinson and Flagg told The AJC Sunday that they’ll have their say when the timing is right.
“As much as we’d like to make a statement about the passing of Bishop Eddie Long, we’ve all decided to remain silent, for now,” Long’s accusers said in a joint response given exclusively to The AJC. They said Jamal Parris also consented to the statement.
“We’re all brothers in this,” LeGrande said. “Our perspectives will be addressed in our book, “Foursaken,” which we hope to release soon.”
The men still shopping for a publisher for the book, which will focus on their lives after cutting ties with the controversial senior pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia.
The lack of a strong male influence was a common link among Long’s male accusers. Though Bishop Long never addressed the allegations directly, he said in a sermon earlier this year he had considered suicide.
“I had a moment. … I had a moment. … I wanted to kill myself and was ready,” he said, thanking his family and congregants for not judging him.
Bishop Long’s memorial service is set for Jan. 25, the church said Monday.