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Embattled Atlanta Preacher Eddie Long’s Wife Plans to Divorce Him. Or Not.

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Sunday Dec 4, 2011

Last Thursday, Bishop Eddie Long's wife, Vanessa, filed for divorce, which would end her 21-year marriage with the New Birth Missionary Baptist pastor, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a Dec. 2 article.

Vanessa Long, 53, said that their relationship was "irretrievably broken" and that there was "no hope of reconciliation."Less than 24 hours after filing for divorce, however, Long made an announcement and said that "upon prayerful reflection," she decided to withdraw her divorce petition.

"I love my husband," she said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "I believe in him and admire his strength and courage." She also said that she and her husband have "mutually agreed to find healing."

Long added that she only filed for divorce due to "years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me." The couple has not stated if they are currently living together but according to the divorce papers they had been in a "state of separation."

Bishop Eddie Long gained media attention in 2010 when four men filed a lawsuit against him alleging that Long had used his power, gifts, trips and other forms of bribery to persuade them into sexual relations.

One of the young men who accused the megachurch Bishop of coercing him into sexual relations told the media that he still loved the pastor and looked up to him as a father figure, even though he called him a "predator" and a "monster," according to an article.

"I loved him and I'm always going to have love for the things he taught us, but how he left us hurt worse than anything I ever felt in my life," Jamal Parris told Atlanta's Fox TV affiliate WAGA in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

"This man turned his back on us when he had no more need for us. That's not a father, that's a predator."

Mrs. Long has kept quite about the incident and has never publically spoken about her husband's allegations. The Bishop said he would fight his allegations and about a year later a settlement was reached.

This isn't the first time Bishop long has dealt with divorce. According to Fulton County Superior Court records, Dabara S. Houston, his first wife, claims that Long treated her terribly and that she was "the victim of cruel treatment." She also said she was afraid of her husband's "violent and vicious temper."


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