The last conversation between Mo’Kelly and Mr. Jheri Lacefront was so popular
with readers, we knew that we’d eventually have to talk to him again. Last week, New Birth ministries gave Mr. Lacefront his walking papers and thus provided the impetus for Mo’Kelly to reach out to Jheri and get an update on the Bishop and New Birth.
Another exclusive in The Mo’Kelly Report.
Mo’K: When we last sat down, you were happily employed, reluctant to talk about the specifics of the case against Bishop Eddie Long and generally supportive of him and his ministry. What has changed?
JL: Well, first and foremost…I got laid off. Even before the settlement was reached, folks were getting laid off. It wasn’t too much of a surprise that my number might be called after the settlement.
Mo’K: But he’s still preaching, he still has public appearances…doesn’t he still need you, so folks won’t see his glistening head?”
JL: Nobody said he didn’t have “someone” to do the job, I’m just saying that it’s not me anymore. I don’t know the new hairpiece personally. I know of him…young guy. We obviously are members of the same union. He’s probably getting half of what I made.
Mo’K: So how did you find out, when did you find out and did you have any final conversation with the Bishop before you left?
JL: It was last Friday, I had just finished work. Bishop Long had gone to work out…you know, he wears his Kangols while working out. He left me on a stand in the bathroom. You know, where he takes all of his pictures he sends to his “male friends.” THAT bathroom. Well, HR called me and said to come by. I knew what was up. They gave me a severance relative to years served, made me sign a non-disclosure agreement and had security escort me out the building inside of 30 minutes.
Mo’K: Non-disclosure agreement…but you’re talking to The Mo’Kelly Report?
JL: Yes, I’ll let you know when I can or can’t answer. Do yo’ thang.
Mo’K: Well alrighty then. What did you make of Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande saying publicly they’re writing a book, in return risking their settlement money?
JL: I was confused at first, not sure why . They could’ve written the book in the first place and not gone through all of this. But then I realized, there’s probably more weighing on their decisions than just money. (Sigh – Pause) Let me put it like this. Some pain can’t be erased by money alone. Sometimes you don’t figure that out until after you actually get some money and emotionally you are no better off than before the money.
Mo’K: I hear you. True dat.
JL: There are things I’ve seen and experienced that I’ll never forget. I’m not calling anyone guilty, but I am glad that I’m free. Virtually everything Bishop Long saw…I saw. I’ll put it like that. Everything he did…I witnessed. I was his hairpiece. Every trip, every hotel room, everything. If he was to be seen by people other than his wife, I most definitely was there if he wasn’t wearing a hat. I say that to say…there’s just some stuff that you can’t “un-see”…you can’t un-ring those bells. I’ll leave it at that.
Mo’K: Jheri Lacefont…did Bishop Eddie Long engage in sexual relationships with those young men?
JL: You know I can’t answer that.
Mo’K: Will you admit whether you know the answer?
JL: Yes, I can say I do know the answer…(chuckles)
Mo’K: Mr. Jheri Lacefront, I HAVE to ask you this. Having nothing to do with the case; is Bishop Long gay?
JL: (Pauses)…Define “gay.”
Mo’K: WOW! I think you just answered Mo’Kelly’s question. Were you ever deposed as a witness during mediation?
JL: Yes I was, I submitted a statement.
Mo’K: This is just Mo’Kelly talking. You submitted a statement during the deposition. Either you backed the Bishop’s story and he sold you out now by firing you or you told a story other than the Bishop’s and now he’s getting back at you. Either way, seems to Mo’Kelly you got the short end of the stick.
JL: I guess you could look at it that way, but honestly I wasn’t interested in fighting for my own deck chair on the Titanic. There’s nothing wrong with being escorted to your life raft when you see the iceberg on the horizon. It’s all about perspective. Just because you lose a job, it doesn’t mean it’s a negative.
Mo’K: Centino Kemp, the fifth man linked to Eddie Long has all but said Long’s name in regards to an alleged rape upon meeting him. Did you hear any of his interviews and if so what did you make of them.
JL: All I can say is this. I met Centino a number of times prior to his name popping up in the media. I’ve seen him and I’ve talked to him…often. I didn’t hear the interviews and really didn’t need to hear them. There are some things like I said, you just can’t “un-see.”
Mo’K: What does that mean, you’ve seen him? How did you know him?
JL: I’m just saying…I know who Centino is. I can’t say how I met him. But I can say we do know people in common. One in particular.
JL: You act as if Brothas have stopped going bald! And I’m not a former anything. I’m still a FLY jheri curl lacefront toupee! My ends haven’t completely dried out yet! I’m just a hairpiece who no longer works for Bishop Eddie Long. In fact, I just got signed to work as Samel L. Jackson’s hairpiece in the upcoming remake of The Last Dragon.
Mo’K: That’s right! He’s playing “Sho’Nuff!”
JL: Yessiree…and I sho’ nuff have a job! (Laughs) I originally interviewed with him when he was filming Pulp Fiction. He needed a Jheri Curl for the part but I didn’t get the job then. It all worked out it seems, just years later.
Mo’K: How’s your sister doing, is she still a weave in the business?
JL: Absolutely. She’s on tour with Beyoncé, doing the sandy blond weave thing in promotion of the new CD.
Mo’K: A hair weave’s work never ends…
JL: You got that right!
Mo’K: Back to Bishop Long for a moment. When you left New Birth, what was the mood like, what were the services like?
JL: The service…singular, was empty mostly. We stopped filming the balcony because nobody was there and Bishop didn’t want the empty seats viewable to the online audience. Those who are still there are the true believers. If they haven’t left now, they’re never going to leave. But they’re not enough in number to keep New Birth in business. They have to turn it around or they’ll have to pack it in.
Mo’K: How long are we talking about?
JL: A year, maybe less, depending on how much more bad publicity comes their way between now and then. They were talking about downsizing Bishop Long to just a TV show, no congregation. Just minister to the masses via television and ask for donations. It cuts the overhead and keeps his name out there. I don’t wish ill on the man but it doesn’t look good for him.
Mo’K: Let me backtrack. What do you think his “five rocks” were, if this case didn’t go to mediation?
JL: Hmm…I would say that Bishop never really thought it would get this far or last as long as it did in the media. I think that was a surprise to us all. The “five rocks”…just preacher rhetoric for a desired response from that audience on that day. It did its job in that respect. It was a soundbite, never meant to be a full-blown strategy. To this day it still is the most-played soundbite from all of this.
Mo’K: Are you and the Bishop still friends?
JL: He was my employer. He fired me without so much as a “thank you.” You can’t really be “friends” with your boss…he’s your boss. Now he is my former boss. I thank him for the opportunity given me but we knew this was a good time for both of us to move on. He has other boys to do…I mean he has other business to do and I have other foreheads to stick to…that’s how it works.
JL: I would…I would suggest to him that the sooner he humbles himself publicly, the sooner he will see a change in how the media and people in general treat him; the sooner people will become sympathetic. His haughty spirit to me is blocking his blessing and delaying the rebirth of his ministry.
Mo’K: You’d say that…to his face?
JL: Yes I would. I don’t work for him now. It’s different. I’d give him what he needs to know, not what an employee thinks his boss wants to hear.
Mo’K: And there you have it. Another exclusive in The Mo’Kelly Report. Not once, but TWICE…Mo’Kelly was able to sit and talk with the long-time Jheri Curl Lacefront Toupeé; Mr. Jheri Lacefront. Jheri, always a pleasure to talk to you and we wish you well.
JL: Thank you Mo’Kelly.
Click HERE for Mo’Kelly’s first conversation with Mr. Jheri Lacefront.
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published at The Huffington Post and EURWEB.com. For the most recent posts of Mr. Mo’Kelly, visit http://mrmokelly.com. Mr. Mo’Kelly can be reached at email@example.com.
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