Fresh from our "You think you're slick" file, Bishop Eddie Long chose yesterday — just before Election Day — to respond to four suits accusing him of coercing young men into sexual relationships. Long denies the claims and asks that the suits be dismissed. "The plaintiff's claims of sexual misconduct are not true," says each of the four responses filed by Long's attorneys. The responses, about 30 pages apiece, offer a point-by-point response to each of the allegations and claims in the lawsuits. The documents were posted on the website of CNN affiliate WSB. Four members of Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church — Anthony Flagg, 21; Maurice Robinson, 20; Jamal Parris, 23; and Spencer LeGrande, 22 — filed suit against Long and the 25,000-member mega-church in September, claiming he used his position as their spiritual counselor to pressure them into sexual relationships. Long, one of his attorneys and a church spokesman have already publicly denied the allegations. In the responses filed Monday in DeKalb County, Ga., Long's attorneys maintain that the pastor was attempting to be a father figure to the youths, providing them with financial assistance and encouragement and helping them navigate their troubles. What part of sending photos of yourself to young boys satisfies those goals? Perhaps Long thought the media would be too preoccupied with the elections that they wouldn't notice his "official" response? Guess again.
Read more at CNN.
[This posting has been updated to reflect the correct date that Long filed his response to the lawsuits.]