This from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Bishop Eddie Long filed four responses in DeKalb County state court denying allegations that he coerced young men into sexual relationships.
In the lengthy responses, Long asked for the four lawsuits to be dismissed and judgment to be entered in his favor.On Monday, Long filed four separate responses, each about 30 pages and denying each accusation point by point. He admitted that he took the men on trips, but he denied the complaints of sexual contact. He did admit to hugging some of the men.
“Bishop Long admits that it is common among his church congregation for members to hug each other and hug the Bishop,” the suit reads.
Long also admitted to giving the plaintiffs gifts, including cars, and helping them financially, but he denied that it was in exchange for sex. He said he has “provided sporadic financial assistance,” and he routinely pays for rent and other expenses for New Birth members, according to the filings.
In the filings, Long also admitted to speaking on the phone with the men, but said he could not recall who initiated the calls. He also admitted that the men called him “Daddy,” “Bishop” and “Granddaddy,” but said many members of his congregation called him similar names.
“Bishop Long admits that he mentors many young men from challenged backgrounds who have often been without the benefit of a male role model,” according to his filings.