''I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that's being portrayed on television. That's not me, that is not me. By the council of my lawyers, they have advised me not to try this case in the media.... It will be tried in the court of justice....
''Please hear this: I've been accused. I'm under attack. I want you to know, I'm not a perfect man, but this thing, I'm going to fight. And I want you to know one other thing, I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet."
Eddie Long, the prosperity preaching televangelist who is under scrutiny after four young men accused him of coercing them in sexual relationships. Long spent 20 minutes on stage this morning, but didn't say much except to talk about himself in the third person and say everyone will have painful situations. After making the statement above he walked off stage.
Some internet specualation had arisen that Long would say he would step down or at least say he was taking some time off, but he in fact did quite the opposite. Long vowed to be in church again next Sunday, and said he would fight the unspecified situation. (Fox 5 Atlanta)
''It wasn't what we expected. He still didn't admit whether he was right or wrong. But the thing is he never actually said is, I did not do it. He just said he was going to fight the charges. So I was a little disappointed.''
One of several unnamed followers of Eddie Long. The reaction to his speech earlier this morning at New Birth Baptist Church seems to have been mixed according to CBS Atlanta. Most supported him regardless of the accusations, but some walked away with lingering questions. Long offered neither details nor explanations of why four men have come forward to say he had sex with them. (CBS Atlanta)
''Yeah, I sincerely believe that [Bishop Long has hurt Jamal].... He's like, so brainwashed, he doesn't know who to trust.... Nobody's going to lie, unless they're a complete idiot. And Jamal is definitely not an idiot.... [Long] should be prosecuted. I don't think he should be given the chance to do anything -- no church, no preaching, anything.''
Antonio Makins, a best friend of Jamal Parris, one of the accusers of preacher Eddie Long. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Makins says that in April Parris wrote a long note on Facebook about Eddie Long being a "monster," but he did not specifying Long's name at that time. Also, Makins says while he was stationed in Iraq two years ago, Parris called him to talk about the sexual relationship he was having with Eddie Long. Makins says he saw the gifts, jewelry and money that Long gave to both Parris and his mother. (Fox 5 Atlanta)