This time Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande, who accuse Long of manipulating them into having sex when they were teens, have broken their silence (again).
You may well recall that the two men, along with three others, settled their civil case against Long out of court earlier this year for an undisclosed amount (rumored to be $20 million). The men claim Long made cash payments to them in exchange for their silence.
“I feel like burning the money,” LeGrande told CNN affiliate WSB in an exclusive interview. LeGrande added, “money does not buy happiness. When you sleep at night, the problems are still there. The money stuff, who cares about the number?”
Parris, who revealed a tattoo of the initials “JL” (he says stand for Jamal Long and Bishop Long was with him when he got the tat) agreed. He was arrested in Miami recently after officers discovered a gun, marijuana, and plastic baggies in his expensive new BMW.
“[The money] is just not enough anymore,” Parris said. “I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong.”
Uh… I could have told him that wouldn’t happen if their accusations are true. You can’t buy peace of mind.
The two men say they don’t care that they are putting their settlement money in jeopardy by talking about the case. They also said they are planning to write a tell-all book about their experiences. LeGrande promised “ten years of details” from each of the accusers. “It’s gonna be a book full of ‘wows’ and ‘ahhs’ and ‘Oh my Gods,'” he said.
Parris, always the most vocal of the accusers, cryptically added, “You ain’t ready for the secrets. I don’t care if the book sells one copy. It’s just for me, this is what my life looked like, this is my voice for the first time.”
Long, who had maintained his innocence from the start, did not immediately respond to WSB when contacted for comment on the interview.
This messy story is beyond its fifteen minutes and isn’t going quietly away for a reason. Between the number of men who came forward, the infamous self-taken pics of Long in his Under Armor, and now at least two of the guys putting their hush money in jeopardy to speak out, it’s pretty clear that Long was living foul. But how are we holding him accountable?
I’ve noticed that whenever I talk about people doing wrong, inevitably I get a comments section filled with responses about we’re not supposed to judge and God is the only one who can. Kudos to so many of you for reading your Holy Bibles. But I must ask: does not judging mean we’re supposed to sit idly by in the face wrongdoing? Because whether we want to acknowledge it or not, our continued silence is condoning the behavior we say we abhor.
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. She has recently been nominated for an African American Literary Award. Vote for her now on literaryawardshow.com.