Posted Nov. 15, 2007 – Juanita Bynum, the Atlanta televangelist whose strife-laden life was exposed for the world to see, is offering up some of the most intimate details behind her divorce and the circumstances leading up the foreclosure of her sprawling country club estate.
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The 48-year-old, self-described prophetess, in an interview with Essence magazine, says she cried for two days after she lost her husband of five years and her $2.5 million home in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth, Ga.
In August, Bynum’s marriage hit rock bottom when a bellman at a local hotel told police that the minister’s estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, choked and stomped her in the parking lot. Police issued a warrant for Weeks and arrested him on charges of aggravated assault, terrorist threats and simple battery.
"Juanita Bynum has been a central figure in the evangelic faith," Essence Editor-in-Chief, Angela Burt-Murray told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Many people were surprised that she and her husband were having this difficulty."
Bynum has said that her first marriage also ended in divorce following a physically abusive relationship. Burt-Murray told the Journal-Constitution that Essence is hoping that Bynum's saga, which is spelled out in a two-part cover-story series, will help other women overcome domestic violence. She noted that Black women experience domestic violence at a rate that is 35 percent higher than White women and about 22 percent higher than other races.
Initially, Bynum reveals in the interview, she was unwilling to press charges in the Aug. 21 parking lot incident, but the doctor treating the injuries from the alleged Weeks’ beating said he had an obligation to report what had happened to her, the paper reports. The series will appear in the December and January editions of Essence.
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