Attorneys representing outspoken anti-gay pastor Eddie Long have informed three of the five young men who accused him of sexual coercion that they intend to recover their financial settlement money, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Long leads Atlanta's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and has consistently denied allegations that he coerced young men into sexual relationships. However, last year he settled an out-of-court lawsuit with five of his accusers that was reportedly $300,000. Long's new quest to win back his settlement money is based on the fact that four of the accusers have spoken out to local TV news reporters and newspapers, violating the terms of a confidentiality agreement outlined in the settlement.
Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande, two of Long's alleged victims who have spoken to the media, acknowledged the risks in an August interview with a local news channel in Atlanta.
"I'm going to tell the world -- money does not buy happiness," LeGrande said in August. "When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number."
The letter, sent this week by the Atlanta law firm Drew Eckl & Farnham, alleges that Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp violated terms of a confidentiality agreement outlined in the settlement with Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The firm is seeking at least $900,000 already paid the three accusers, according to people involved in the settlement but not authorized to speak publicly. That figure is a portion of the total settlement with the three men.
Financial terms of that settlement have not been disclosed but, based on the letter and the fact each of the young men were paid equitably, the total comes to at least $1.5 million.
The letter outlines the plaintiffs' "demand for arbitration" though no legal documents have yet been filed.
The three men named in the letter have, at one point or another, mentioned they plan on writing a tell-all book that will reveal details of their relationship with Long. Since there are legal documents filed, some believe the letter sent to the three young men is a warning or a threat of what's to come if they go ahead with their plans to publish their stories.
Long and the men named in the letter have not released additional statements.