''I loved him. I'm always going to have love for the things that he taught me.... You finally have a father that you've always wanted for and always dreamed of.... He would just walk away from you if you don't give him what he wants. So you end up turning into something you never thought you would be, which is now a slave to a man that you love....
''So, while the media and the rest of the people around the city, around the country look at us like how could grown men let another man touch him, what you have to understand is this man has manipulated us since childhood.... This man turned his back on us when he had no more need for us. That's not a father, that's a predator.... You are not a man, you are a monster.''
Jamal Parris, one of the four young men who is accusing the popular televangelist Eddie Long of sexual improprieties. Each of the youths has stated in their lawsuits that they were over the age of legal sexual consent when Long began moving them into sexual relations. Eddie Long has a history of preaching against homosexuality and has organized large public events against gay marriage rights.
Parris told Fox 5 Atlanta that he was a fatherless 14-year-old when he joined Long's New Birth Missisionary Baptist Church. He says Long was like a powerful "dad" who he wanted to be like, that being around him was ''like a drug'' -- an unbelievably lavish life with cars and access. He still indicates that Long had admirable qualities, but can't forgive him for the end result. He says that he did not stop the advances because he did not want to lose his "father" or the "support" that he and his family received. Parris' lawyer, BJ Berstein, says the young men are straight and Long interrupted their relationships with women. Parris states his case is not about money. (Fox 5 Atlanta)