Vanessa Long, the wife of Georgia televangelist Bishop Eddie Long, has filed for divorce

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The wife of Georgia televangelist Bishop Eddie Long has filed for divorce, according to a statement issued Friday by her attorney.

Vanessa Long's statement did not specify why she is seeking a divorce from Long.

"It is my sincere hope that this matter can be resolved expeditiously, harmoniously, and fairly," she said in the statement. "I ask that you respect my privacy and that of my family, as my attorneys and I have agreed that we will not try this case in the media, and I do not intend to make any further statements concerning this matter."

Last spring, Long settled a lawsuit filed by four young men who accused him of pressuring them into sexual relationships while they were teenagers and members of Long's congregation at New Life Missionary Church in Lithonia, Georgia.

Long is also being sued by former parishioners who accuse him of getting them to invest in a Ponzi scheme that wiped out at least $1 million in their retirement savings.

The September suit by the four men alleged that Long "uses monetary funds from the accounts of New Birth and other corporate and non-profit corporate accounts to entice the young men with cars, clothes, jewelry, and electronics."

The accusations were particularly controversial because Long has preached passionately against homosexuality for years.

In an August interview, two of Long's accusers said they are haunted by their experiences with Long and that they are writing a tell-all book about what they say happened between them and the powerful pastor.

Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande, now in their early 20s, told CNN Atlanta affiliate WSB that Long made cash payments to them in exchange for their pledge to never talk about the case again.

"It's just not enough anymore. I thought I could cover the pain up. I thought I could move, start over and everything will go away. I was terribly wrong," Parris told WSB.

He told WSB that he grew up without a father and that Long seized on that vulnerability. "To have a man love me for just who I was. I just had to be me and love him back," Parris said.

Parris pointed to a "JL" tattoo on his arm, which he said stands for "Jamal Long," suggesting an extraordinarily close relationship between the two. Parris said Long was with him when he got the tattoo.

In her statement on Friday, Vanessa Long said that she had reached the decision to file for divorce "after a great deal of deliberation and prayer."

"I also ask that the public pray for my entire family during this difficult period of transition," the statement said.

 
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