|Bishop Eddie Long's case settledI|
This was a turn around. As late as 14 May 2011, the Christian Post published "Eddie Long Case Not Settled, Expected to Head to Court". In fact, following the news release of the claims in Sept 2010, Eddie had said "I want this to be dealt in the court of justice and not by public opinion. I will say that I am going to fight, fight very vigorously against these charges."
However, subsequent release of damaging photographs and lewd details may have given him reasons to avoid an open court battle.
The lawsuits have at last been settled privately thus silecing the exposure of any damaging explicit sexual details. Under the settlement term, the 4 men who sued the Pastor will not release details.
However, the "Black Media Scoop" has published the following alleged insider information:-
- they were offered 4 million, but held out for a public apology
- Finally settled for 15 million, with a private apology. (Insurance to cover 13 million, church to cover 2 million), or 3.6 million each.
The lawyers were the ultimate winners. At fees of 50%, they would have received 7.5 million!.
Whilst there should be some compensation because it was an abuse of power, the settlement seems high especially when the boys were above 17 at the time of the incidents and therefore were "consenting" adults. The Georgia age of consent is 16. The plaintiffs may have been more opportunistic to make use of Eddie Long rather than real victims.
The settlement value (if correct!) is also much higher than child sexual abuse cases. In the case of Catholic Los Angeles settlement, each victim received 780K (660 million settlement involving 580 victims), before fees of 40%. Each of the young men now allegedly gets 3.6 million or 5 times higher.
"We're very excited, very elated about what's taken place. To God be the glory," said Elder Dandridge of the New Birth Church.
Art Franklin, the spokesman for Long said that
"This decision was made to bring closure to this matter and to allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry,"
the resolution "the most reasonable road for everyone to travel.”
OIfficially, Eddie Long has maintained his innocense claiming that "The Plantiff's claims to sexual misconduct are not true."
For the 25,000 member church, if the church was to cover 2 million, would be less than $100 each per person which is a small sum. They have reason to give thanks to God for an issue in open court would have destroyed the church.
God would have received the glory if Eddie long had:-
a) Aplogized in public
b) Quit the church leadership
c) Announced he was gay
The settlement sum would then be much lower, and the issue of denial in the American Black churches against GLBT be addressed. The issue is now back in the closet waiting for another incident to occur.
The young men had used Eddie Long's gay orientation to get gifts and financial support from him, and they should not gotten a penny from the church. That said, a heavy price has been paid by Bishop Long and the church for hiding in the closet. Surely, we can't hide forever.