By: Chika Oduh
Eddie Long, presiding bishop of Georgia’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, is seeking to recoup nearly $1 million in settlement money from male ex-parishioners who have accused him of sexual impropriety.
Jamal Parris, Spencer LeGrande and Centino Kemp, three of the five men who accused Long of sexual coercion, received letters last week from the Atlanta law firm Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP. The letters allege that the three young men violated the confidentiality terms outlined in the settlement agreement with Long and the Lithonia-based church, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).
But, just how far Long’s attorneys are willing to go is still uncertain.
“No one’s going to turn over the money just simply because you’ve asked for it,” Hayden Pace, Atlanta litigator told the AJC. “You’re going to have to earn it back by establishing your right to it in the courts.”
Pace went on to say that Georgia courts make it a practice and a policy to uphold a settlement.
“Confidentiality is one of the key benefits of a settlement agreement,” he said.
The AJC received information from people involved in the settlement but are not authorized to speak publicly that the firm is seeking at least $900,000 already paid to the three accusers.
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