Atlanta megachurch Bishop Eddie Long quietly settled in May with four young men who accused him of sexual misconduct. Now, two of those young men are speaking out.
Spencer LeGrande and Jamal Parris, both in their early 20s, say they are haunted by their relationship with Long, according to CNN Atlanta affiliate WSB. The duo is planning to write a book telling what they claim are the gory details behind the scandal they ignited in the Pentecostal Church.
“It's just not enough anymore. I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong," said Parris.
The young men told WSB they can no longer keep quiet, and they are approaching the book project as part of the healing process.
"You ain't ready for the secrets,” Parris said. “I don't care if this book sells one copy. But if it's just for me, this is what my life looked like, this is my voice for the first time.”
After the lawsuits were filed against him, Long told his congregation he felt like David against Goliath. But LaGrande told WSB that he and Parris are the Davids.
“Ten years of details, each person,” LeGrande said. “It's gonna be a book full of 'wow's' and 'ahh's' and 'Oh my Gods.'"
The lawsuits claimed Long has "a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship."
Long, who oversees the 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, says he is innocent of the charges against him.
“Unfortunately, we are in the media again and people are wondering what I am going to say,” Long says. “All I have to say is what we stated earlier. All parties involved decided to resolve the civil cases out of court. The decision was made to bring closure to this matter and allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry.” Long vowed to “continue to honor and abide by my commitment of confidentiality and restraint as it relates to the resolution of the civil litigation and will not be diverted from the important work of the ministry.”