Wife of Televangelist Eddie Long Files for Divorce


Family attorneys in Pasadena rarely see couples who survive the shock and scandal of extramarital affairs. Once that trust factor has been destroyed, it's nearly impossible for couples to bounce back, especially when the couple lives a life in the public eye. Take the case of Vanessa Long. As the dutiful wife of mega-church pastor Eddie Long, Vanessa stood by her husband last year as allegations of sexual relationships with young men exploded in the media. Yet after several months of lying low, Vanessa has finally filed for divorce.

On Friday, Mrs. Long issued a statement that she was withdrawing her divorce petition, yet hours later her lawyer said she was in fact going through with the divorce. Despite the public back and forth, her divorce documents note that she and her husband are "living in a bona fide state of separation." The 12-page petition states that Vanessa Long "is entitled to a divorce upon grounds that the marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken, there being no hope of reconciliation of the parties, and it being in the best interest of all parties concerned that this marriage be terminated by divorce."

Last spring, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia was rocked by a lawsuit that claimed four young men had been pressured into sexual relationships with Bishop Eddie Long. He denied the allegations and currently denies the lawsuit has anything to do with his wife filing for divorce. In a statement, Bishop Long attributes her leaving to the pressures of being a pastor's wife and "not because of the allegations."

Eddie Long announced over the weekend he would be taking time off from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The church says that Long is not leaving the church and "will continue to be the senior pastor of New Birth."