Long is accused of luring at least four young men into sexual relationships and using church funds to give them cash, gifts and cars. The cases have been settled and there will be no comment, attorneys for both sides tell the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Barbara Marschalk, who represents New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and LongFellows Youth Academy, said she anticipates " the lawsuits will be dismissed, with prejudice, by close of business tomorrow."
B.J. Bernstein, who represents the four men who sued Long, New Birth and LongFellows, also confirmed the lawsuits had been settled. Neither side would comment further and settlement terms were unknown.
According to Bernstein's office, neither she nor the plaintiffs would be available for an interview "on this matter, now or in the future. "
The four young men—Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, Anthony Flagg and Spencer LeGrande—filed sexual coercion lawsuits against Long and New Birth MBC last fall. The sexual relationships reportedly began when each of the plaintiffs were around 16 years old.
When the embattled pastor spoke publicly for the first time after the cases were announced in September, Long vowed to "fight" the charges and have his day in court. Two months later, a DeKalb County judge ordered a February mediation session and a July trial date for the lawsuits.
Long is also among the most vocal critics of gay rights and same-sex marriage in the Black church. In December 2004, Long led a 25,000 person march against gay rights and marriage equality. Long has routinely railed against gays from the pulpit, although it's well-known in Atlanta's Black LGBT community that many Black gay men attend Long's anti-gay mega-church.
So much for Long and his five rocks. What's done in the dark will come to light—unless there is an iron-clad non-disclosure clause in a hefty financial settlement.
R20's complete EDDIE LONG coverage.