UPDATED Oct. 4, 2007 – The husband of high-profile TV preacher Juanita Bynum says he was never “cruel” to his wife, despite charges that he beat, kicked, choked and stomped her in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel.
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Bishop Thomas W. Weeks, who is filing a counterclaim for divorce, also denies Bynum’s assertion that the two have been totally separated since June, as stated in her divorce petition.
Weeks said he got his hopes up for reconciliation after they spent the night together on Aug. 21, the day before he was accused of beating her up.
“I was with my wife the entire night and felt that our love for each other was going to get us through these hard times,” Weeks said in a video news conference.
“Now they have each asked for a divorce,” Randy Kessler, one of Weeks’ attorneys, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, noting that his client found out about the separation by fax.
"I would like Juanita to know that I respect but regret her decision for divorce . . . I am praying God’s best for her,” Weeks said.
Week's lawyer said they tried settling the divorce out of court. What was Bynum's reaction? Get the details on the next page.
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On the day of the alleged attack, Weeks said he met with his estranged wife because she wanted to use the Global Destiny Church, which they founded together, to make commercials for her mentorship classes. But according to Bynum, their meeting turned into a heated discussion that led to her "brutal beating."
Weeks, 40, was arrested after the incident and is free after posting $40,000 bond; he is barred from contacting Bynum. Bynum, 48, who said in her petition that she was subjected to “cruel treatment” and that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” has a popular television ministry and has released several chart-topping gospel CDs.
The couple got married in a million-dollar, nationally televised ceremony in March 2003. Bynum’s first marriage, which she said was more about “sex and the way he looked,” ended in divorce after about five years.
Weeks says he and Bynum separated when his wife told the congregation of Global Destiny Ministries, which they founded together, that she was “planning to leave our church never to return.”
Kessler, who says there is no prenupital agreement between the couple, tells AJC he and Weeks attempted to settle the divorce privately, but Bynum turned them down.
"He is trying his best not to make specific requests," Kessler said. "This is not a case about money. He has had his mind on the relationship. Legally, I could advise him he is entitled to alimony, but he would probably be upset at me if I mentioned it.”
Should Weeks get alimony from Bynum? Click "Discuss Now," to the right to post your comment.