Judge rules year-old suit can proceed
DeKalb Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott told lawyers for Paulk, “This needs to happen. It needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
Paulk did not attend the hearing.
Mona and Bobby Brewer, former leaders of Paulk’s Chapel Hill Harvester Church, filed suit a year ago accusing Paulk of coercing Mona Brewer into an affair that lasted 14 years.
A lawyer for Paulk acknowledged that Paulk had a brief sexual relationship with Mona Brewer, but said she was the initiator.
Lawyers for Paulk, who underwent major cancer surgery last fall, had argued successfully in the past that he was too frail to face a deposition in the case.
However, he has been back in the pulpit of his church recently.
Louis Levenson, lawyer for the Brewers, came to court Thursday armed with video of Paulk preaching.
Levenson said he also was prepared to call witnesses who would testify that Paulk had been seen recently at a Cracker Barrel restaurant and at a birthday party.
Scott ruled without seeing the video or hearing the witnesses.
“In many respects, it’s unfair to the plaintiffs if they have to wait much longer,” Scott said from the bench. Paulk, he said, “is a critical witness. They need his testimony.”
Mona Brewer expressed satisfaction after the hearing. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” she said. “I think we’re finally seeing some justice.”
However, Paulk’s attorney Dennis Brewer, no relation to Mona and Bobby, said he may pursue an independent medical examination for his client with a possible emergency hearing to fight the deposition. “We’re probably going to let the doctor make that determination,” he said.
In another ruling, Scott said he will allow Paulk’s lawyers a limited line of questioning about Bobby Brewer’s tax history.
Paulk’s lawyers also had asked for access to DNA tests that would show the parentage of children possibly fathered by Paulk.
On that issue, lawyers reached an agreement that was not made public.
Scott told spectators in the courtroom that he wanted to protect the privacy of any nonparties to the case who might be affected.
Paulk has undergone a DNA test that remains under court seal, according to Dennis Brewer, his lawyer.
The case is the fourth sex scandal of Paulk’s career. Paulk was publicly accused in 1992 by his former ghostwriter and biographer of manipulating her into a sexual relationship.
He denied that allegation, but in the midst of the scandal admitted to having had an adulterous relationship in 1960 when he was pastor of what was then the Hemphill Church of God (now Mount Paran).
Then, in 2001, a former liturgical dancer in the church filed suit saying Paulk had molested her when she was between the ages of 7 and 11, and later as a teenager.
The case was settled out of court.