If silence is golden, maybe blabbing is platinum.
Two of the men who received out-of-court settlement payments for their sexual-coercion lawsuit against Bishop Eddie Long and suburban Atlanta's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church appear willing to risk their civil-lawsuit awards in order to speak out.
Spencer LeGrande and Jamal Parris — along with other men who were formerly teens enrolled in New Birth's Longfellows Academy mentoring program — sued the prosperity preacher last September for using his wealth, fame and power to coax them into sexual acts and devotion ceremonies while they were teenagers. Early this summer, the former Long protégés reached a financial agreement to drop their case and remain silent.
But LeGrande, 23, and Parris, 24, told Atlanta's ABC news affiliate that they intend to co-write a memoir that explicitly details how a charismatic figure can seduce young men while enablers look the other way.
Speaking exclusively to a WSB-TV investigator in a Miami hotel room, the men suggested that they're more concerned about revelation than financial gain.
Parris — who recently emerged from an arrest for drug and gun possession on South Beach with a one-year probationary sentence — described himself as "angry" and resentful of the way New Birth's members still embrace an unapologetic Long.
He glared at the camera and defied Long to "tell me you didn't do it."
"You ain't ready for the secrets," said LeGrande. "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."
LeGrande added that the proposed tell-all would include "10 years of details … it's gonna be a book full of 'wow's' and 'ahh's' and 'Oh my gods'."
Spoiler alert: Both Parris and LeGrande make reality-show-worthy pronouncements about their current love lives in the first segment and further jeopardize their hush money. See links to the clips below.
As of Thursday morning, there had been no public comment about the accusers' proposed book issued by spokespersons for Long or his church.
Editor's note: This posting has been updated for clarity to reflect that the duo's pronouncements are "reality-show-worthy" and that they are not in fact announcing a reality show.
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