[UPDATE 2:46pm EST] Eddie Long has released his first public statement today, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so,” he said in a statement released by his spokesman. ” However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time. But let me be clear; the charges against me and New Birth are false. I have devoted my life to helping others and these false allegations hurt me deeply. “
He asked for patience and said he plans to respond to the charges during services at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday.
Things just keep unraveling for anti-gay Eddie Long, who’s pastor at one of Atlanta’s largest black mega churches. So far he’s been charged with sexual coercion by three men, and on the advice of his attorney he’s canceled a previously scheduled press conference and appearance on the Tom Joyner show.
News broke on Tuesday that two men, Anthony Flagg and Maurice Murray Robinson, had filed sexual coercion charges against Long in Dekalb County Court. The charges allege that Long singled each man out and lavished them with expensive gifts in exchange for sexual favors. On Wednesday a third man, Jamal Parris, came forward and said that Long had coerced him into sex when he was 14 and demanded to be called “daddy.”
The detailed complaints of both Anthony Flagg and Maurice Murray Robinson are available online. Both complaints allege that Long has a “pattern of singling out…young male church members” for sex, and calls them his “spiritual sons.”
Also on Wednesday, ABC News reported that prominent Atlanta attorney BJ Bronstein, who’s representing the plaintiffs in the case, released photos Long allegedly sent to the men while they were enrolled in the church’s Longfellows Youth Academy.
Long has denied the allegations, but once a third man came forward he declined to talk to the media on the advice of his attorneys.