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Wife of Bishop Eddie Long Files For Divorce, Then Retracts Petition

Atlanta 12/3/2011 5:32:26 AM

Vanessa Long, the wife of an Atlanta megachurch pastor accused of using money to coerce at least four young men into having sexual relationships with him, says she no longer plans to go through with her divorce filing. Vanessa filed for divorce from Bishop Eddie Long on Thursday after 21 years of marriage.

Shortly after announcing the split in a statement, Vanessa spoke out again to say she plans to retract her petition for divorce. "I love my husband. I believe in him and admire his strength and courage. My filing followed years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me," she said. "I love my family and church family, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Therefore, my husband and I have mutually agreed to find healing from these attacks."

The news comes seven months after Long settled four lawsuits filed in September 2010 by his alleged victims - Jamal Parris, Spencer LaGrande, Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg. The former New Birth members said Long used expensive vacations, money and gifts to coerce them into having sex. Long also allegedly used bible verses to convince them their sexual activities were not wrong.

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