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Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead addresses lawsuit filed by former parishioner, defends lifestyle

Brooklyn bishop robbed during service being sued by former parishioner
Brooklyn bishop robbed during service being sued by former parishioner 02:38

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn bishop who was robbed at gunpoint during a service last Sunday says there's been too much focus on his lifestyle and not enough on the crime that happened inside his church.

As CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports, this comes amid news of a lawsuit against him.

Bishop Lamor Whitehead fiercely defended himself at a press conference Friday, speaking just steps away from his Canarsie church that became a crime scene last weekend.

"And he must've knew something about a robbery. Are you kidding me? Let my church, give us some sympathy," he said.

Police say three armed suspects, caught on video, robbed the bishop and his wife of $1 million worth of jewelry.

READ MORE: Bishop Lamor Whitehead praying for arrest in $1 million jewelry robbery at Brooklyn church: "Someone will recognize them"

Whitehead says instead of focusing on the terrifying crime and search for suspects, he believes the media has wrongly focused on his criminal history and what some describe as his lavish lifestyle.

"Why is Fendi, Louis and Gucci, why can't we wear that in the church?" he said. "I'm not on a salary with my church. It's about having multiple streams of income. That's it."

Whitehead says he was previously convicted wrongfully of grand larceny and scheme to defraud.

He also addressed a lawsuit filed against him last September by a church member. The suit alleges Whitehead promised "in exchange for $90,000, he would assist plaintiff in purchasing and renovating a house."

Instead, court documents allege Whitehead took the money and used it to help buy a $4.4 million home for himself in Saddle River, New Jersey.

"I can't get into the legality of this fictitious, um, claim against me," he said.

An attorney for the plaintiff in that lawsuit had no comment.

RELATED STORY: Bishop's wife says she feared for her children during armed robbery caught on livestream at Brooklyn church

Whitehead has also talked about his relationship with Mayor Eric Adams, describing him as a mentor and friend. 

"Lamor and any other individual that I support, I continue to try to mentor. As a Black man, I have an obligation to mentor other Black men that had negative encounters in their lives and other people in general," Adams said Friday.

Meanwhile, Whitehead is calling on the three suspects in the robbery to turn themselves in.

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