An investigative report by Atlanta’s Fox 5 news station states a fifth accuser in the Bishop Eddie Long sex scandal played a role in the negotiations that ended in a secret settlement between the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church preacher and four other men who sued him for sexual coercion.
Senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell reported Wednesday, July 27, that Centino Kemp, 22, met Long years ago when he was a college student.
“One source says Centino Kemp, who was raised in the Bahamas, met Bishop Eddie Long years ago during a visit to New Birth while he was a teenage student in a Florida college. The relationship meant enough for him to tattoo Eddie Long’s name on his wrist, followed by the words, ‘Never a Mistake, Always a Lesson,'” Russell reported.
Kemp did not file a lawsuit against Long unlike four other young men who accused Long of giving them gifts of jewelry and cars and taking them on lavish trips around the world while at the same time having sex with them.
According to Fox 5, Kemp came forward after the other four men filed suit and somehow played a key role in a settlement agreement finalized in May.
“Sources say Kemp joined in the settlement talks after he heard about the other young men’s lawsuits and though he never sued, he became a part of the final settlement,” Russell reported.
“One lawyer familiar with the case confirmed Kemp was involved and was ‘different from the other young men,’ ‘one piece of the puzzle that never fit,’ and he made the case ‘more difficult.'”
While his sexual orientation and gender identity are not known, Kemp has tweeted about gay rights and presents himself in a gender non-conforming way, wearing makeup and fingernail polish.
Watch a YouTube video for Centino’s song “Pornography” here.
Long denied all charges made by the four men in their lawsuits in court documents. In an emotional sermon the weekend after the allegations were made, Long promised he would fight to preserve his reputation.
“There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that is being portrayed on the television,” Long said to cheers from the congregation on Sept. 26. “That is not me.”
Long said that he has been advised by his lawyers “not to try this case in the media,” but closed with a defiant vow to fight back.
“I have been accused. I am under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man, but this thing I’m gon’ fight,” Long said.
“And I want you to know one other thing: I feel like David against Goliath, but I got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet,” he said, dropping his microphone with an audible thump.
An anti-gay preacher, Long led a march of thousands through the city of Atlanta to protest, among other things, gay marriage.
The sex scandal rocked many in the black church, where homophobia is considered to be rampant. Julian Bond, former NAACP chair and Georgia lawmaker, told the GA Voice that if the allegations were true against Long, “It’s going to be a victory for gay rights in black America. A sad victory.”
Fox 5 is promising more information about Centino and his relationship with Long in another report to air today.
Watch the July 27 Fox 5 report on Centino Kemp: