A Brooklyn preacher who reportedly was was robbed during a livestreamed church service is now suing two YouTubers who called him a scammer on their platform. New court filings reveal he is asking for $20 million each from the doubting Thomases who have blasted him relentlessly since that fateful Sunday morning.
Separate defamation lawsuits have been filed in Kings County by Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead against two social media stars, Larry Reid and Demario Q. Jives, who publicly claimed the flashy clergyman was a fraud after reports surfaced he lost over $1 million in jewelry after being burglarized at the Leaders of Tomorrow Church, at 922 Remsen Ave, in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday, July 24.
According to the New York Post, Whitehead’s claim alleges because of the things the men have said on their respective platforms, he has lost ‘business deals, church members, and income.”
Brian Ponder, Whitehead’s lawyer, said, “The defamatory statements that are being made are affecting the bishop’s business and church and professional duties, so he’s going to very aggressively hold those people accountable that are behind it.”
Jives is being sued for stating Whitehead wore “the same jewelry that [he] got robbed in” when he appeared on his YouTube channel after he told police officers he and his wife lost a million dollars worth of jewelry.
An itemized list of the property taken from him was published by AllHipHop.com. It consisted of a $75,000 Rolex watch; a $75,000 Cavalier watch; a $25,000 Episcopal ruby and diamond ring; a $25,000 Episcopal diamond ring; a pair of $25,000 diamond earrings; a $20,000 diamond and emerald cross; a $20,000 Episcopal ring; a $20,000 Episcopal cross; and a $10,000 Episcopal gold cross.
Jives also accused the minister of “drug dealing” and working in concert with “the Bloods and the Crypts (sic),” two powerful gangs that dominate the many parts of New York City.
The lawsuit says because of these “false” allegations spewed by the defendant, he is seeking “no less than $20,000,000 or such other amount to be proven at trial.”
It further alleges that on Reid’s platform, he wrote that Whitehead “scammed people out of money” and “will be locked up in about three months” from the summer heist that catapulted him into headlines.
The lawsuit says Reid’s statements were false and “exposed Plaintiff to public contempt, ridicule, aversion, and/or disgrace.”
Whitehead is also seeking $20,000,000 from Reid.
Both Jives and Reid have responded to the lawsuits.
“I’m a commentator,” Jives remarked. “I give commentary on religion, politics, public figures, everything.”
“We make a lot of jokes, especially about this particular situation, because this guy really is a joke. So, for him to try to even file something is egregious,” he continued. “He’s mad because people he’s getting backlash, and I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re doing all this talking about a robbery. Who else in the world is out here having interviews about being robbed?’ ”
Reid said the preacher’s claim is “absurd and unfounded. The key thing about a defamation lawsuit is you’ve got to show a loss, and you’ve also got to show malicious intent. I just stated what every other outlet stated, so he should be suing them as well,” the YouTuber said. “There’s no good reputation to defame. He has no case.”
This is not the only lawsuit Whitehead is fighting. He is currently being sued by a former church member who claims he stole $90,000 from her retirement.
In the complaint filed in 2021 by 56-year-old Pauline Anderson in Brooklyn Supreme Court, she says she gave her entire life savings to him, believing he was going to help her get her credit score up so that she would be able to get a house.
In November 2020, according to the lawsuit, Anderson gave her the money to the pastor via a cashier’s check, with the understanding he would give her $100 monthly allowances to support her living expenses.
However, Whitehead never gave Anderson a receipt for the exchange and only paid her the agreed-upon fee once in January of 2021.
“Mr. Whitehead fraudulently induced Ms. Anderson to liquidate her entire life savings to pay him the ‘investment’ of $90,000.00, promising to use the funds to purchase and renovate a house for her,” the lawsuit alleges.
It continues, “Ms. Anderson was instead left with nothing but a vague promise by Mr. Whitehead to pay the funds back in the future followed by an assertion that he had no further obligation to do so.”
Anderson submitted text messages as evidence in the case to support her claims. In Exhibit B, The Bishop, who doubles as a real estate agent and life coach, tells her that he had already invested the money, but she would not be able to get a return anytime soon, because he would not have access to it.
In another set of exchanges from May 19, 2021, Whitehead texted Anderson, “And for the record, anything that was given to me is a Donation unless it’s attached to a contract! I was making investments, that’s what I Do!”
Within the messages, the preacher calls Anderson’s son a “liar” and promises God will serve him justice.
The woman says in response, “All of this because of what? Because you took money that you refuse to pay back and now, you’re quoting scripture to serve your purpose! This is so offensive and did you just go there. You said you were a man of integrity!”
In defense of himself, Whitehead told the Daily News, the woman’s son was a “member” of his church, “who was removed because he was unintegral.”
He said, “It’s a lawsuit because of who I am. Everybody that tried to sue me because of my celebrity status is just gonna keep going and trying to do what they do.”
Whitehead himself plans to sue many of the people he believes who come after him. His lawyer said, “This is the beginning of that process of dealing with those actors maliciously stating falsehoods about the bishop.”