The divorce petition filed by Vanessa Long against Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, has been dismissed, according to DeKalb County court filings posted online that were later confirmed by the minister’s lawyer.
The online postings in the case of “Long vs. Long” dated Monday indicate the petition was dismissed “without prejudice.”
One of Bishop Eddie Long’s lawyers, Lawrence Cooper, confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Vanessa Long had asked that the divorce petition be dismissed. He declined to say if the Longs were reunited. In an emailed response to the AJC, Vanessa Long’s lawyers declined to comment.
It is the second time in three months that Vanessa Long has called off plans to divorce the popular DeKalb County minister, who has battled accusations of improper sexual relationships with male members of his congregation.
Long, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, settled lawsuits filed by several of those members last year.
On Dec. 2, Vanessa Long announced she was seeking to end her 21-year-marriage following “a great deal of deliberation and prayer.” Later the same day and in a statement sent through New Birth’s public relations firm, she was quoted as saying that upon further “prayerful reflection,” she was withdrawing the divorce petition.
“I love my husband,” she was quoted as saying. “I believe in him and admire his strength and courage.” The New Birth elder said her decision to seek a divorce was driven by “years of attacks in the media that frustrated and overwhelmed me.” She and her husband had “mutually agreed to find healing,” Vanessa Long said.
But then, even later on Dec. 2, her attorneys announced Vanessa Long was proceeding with the divorce “consistent with her original [statement] made this morning.”
In the divorce filing, Vanessa Long, 53, said her marriage to the New Birth senior pastor was “irretrievably broken” and there was “no hope of reconciliation.” The couple had been in a “state of separation,” according to the petition.
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