Come for the drug rehab, stay for the gay sex…
Televangelist Paul Crouch, founder of the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has waged a fierce legal battle to prevent a former employee from publicizing allegations that he and Crouch had a sexual encounter eight years ago.
Crouch, 70, is the president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, based in Orange County, whose Christian programming reaches millions of viewers around the world via satellite, cable and broadcast stations.
The source of the allegations against him is Enoch Lonnie Ford, who met Crouch at a TBN-affiliated drug treatment center in 1991 and later went to work for the ministry.
After Ford threatened to sue TBN in 1998, claiming that he had been unjustly fired, Crouch reached a $425,000 settlement with him. In return, Ford agreed, among other things, not to discuss his claim about a sexual encounter with the TV preacher.
But in the last year, Ford has threatened to go public with his story, prompting a flurry of legal maneuvers â€” conducted in closed court hearings, sealed pleadings and private arbitration.
“I am absolutely amazed that Lonnie hasn’t gone to Penthouse or Dianne [sic] Sawyer with his manuscript, notwithstanding the [judge’s] injunction,” TBN attorney Dennis G. Brewer Sr. wrote in a March letter to the network’s other lawyers.
In a subsequent letter, in May, Brewer mentioned the anguish that Ford’s accusations had caused Crouch’s youngest son, Matt, when he learned of them in 1998.
Brewer wrote that the younger Crouch had told his then-law partner, David Middlebrook: “I am devastated; I am confronted with having to face the fact that my father is a homosexual.”
Middlebrook and Matt Crouch have denied that there was such a conversation.
I want to fair here. Does this man look like a homosexual? I mean come on…