Vanessa Long, the wife of megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long, announced Friday she has filed for divorce.
"After a great deal of deliberation and prayer, I have decided to terminate my marriage to Bishop Eddie L. Long. Accordingly, I authorized my attorneys to file for divorce on December 1, 2011," Vanessa Long said in a statement.
Last fall, four young men accused Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, of coercing them into having sex. Their lawsuits were settled in May, then dismissed.
Also in Vanessa Long’s statement: "It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously and fairly. I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter." The couple married in 1990. They have three children together, Edward, Jared and Taylor.
The lawsuit dismissals, first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, prevent the four defendants from suing Long again for the same alleged offense.
The accusations made against Long by Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson alleged that the bishop used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relations.
Long denied the men’s allegations through a spokesman shortly after they became public in September and told his congregation he planned to "vigorously" fight them