New Birth disputes rumors that wife has moved out

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/June 14, 2011

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is disputing rumors that Bishop Eddie Long's wife, Vanessa, has moved out of the couple's home.

"That claim is completely and absolutely false," according to a statement from church spokesman Art Franklin. "Mrs. Long is very much a loving, dedicated and committed wife and mother."

Eddie Long and New Birth are rebounding from allegations of sexual misconduct. Last fall, four young men accused Long, senior pastor of the Lithonia megachurch, of coercing them into having sex. Their lawsuits were settled in May, then dismissed.

The statement said New Birth church has, as a rule, chosen not to respond to rumors, but felt obliged to respond after blog entries surfaced claiming to have anonymous sources stating that Vanessa Long had moved out of the house.

"However, in this new digital world, along with a steep decline in quality reporting, many people can’t discern the difference between legitimate journalists and irresponsible bloggers," Franklin's statement said. It doesn't name the blogs or bloggers that reportedly have spread rumors that Vanessa Long had moved out.

One blog, The Mo’ Kelly Report, said recently that "Well-placed spies for The Mo’Kelly Report and long-time members of New Birth are alleging that Vanessa Long, the First Lady of New Birth has moved out of the house, in fact taking one of the children with her due to the scandal."

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