Evangelist Juanita Bynum files for divorce

National evangelist Juanita Bynum apparently has filed for divorce, more than two weeks after the alleged attack by her estranged husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III.

A relative on Thursday said that Bynum, 48, has filed for divorce but court records were not available to provide further details. Bynum’s publicist, Amy Malone, would not comment.

The reported divorce filing comes five years after Bynum and Weeks wed in 2002 in fairy-tale style on Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Weeks was holding on to hope that he could eventually work things out with his wife, say attorneys, when word of Bynum’s filing for divorce spread on radio, TV and the Internet. A lawyer for Weeks said Thursday they had not been notified about a pending divorce. “We have not heard a thing,” said Louis Tesser.

Bynum, an author and a Pentecostal pastor hailed as a “prophetess” by her followers, returned to the national spotlight Tuesday after recovering from the alleged beating by Weeks. She called a press conference that evening, a few hours before she hosted an international Christian talk show on TBN, to let her fans and colleagues know she was moving on with her life under a new mandate as “the new face of domestic violence.”

On Wednesday, Weeks broke his silence for the first time since the alleged Aug. 21 domestic violence incident by issuing a written statement through his lawyers. In it, Weeks cautioned against a rush to judgment and said he would share his version of what happened that night at the appropriate time.

Weeks was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection to the incident. His appearance in Fulton County Superior Court originally set for Friday has been postponed indefinitely. The case has been reassigned to a different judge. He could face up to 27 years in jail if convicted.

At her Tuesday press conference Bynum announced that she would launch a new ministry to help other women who have suffered violent attacks at the hands of the men who were suppossed to love them. Since that announcement, she has been asked to join an A-list crowd Saturday at a fund-raiser for Barack Obama’s presidential bid.

The party is being hosted by media magnate Oprah Winfrey at her 42-acre estate in California.

Bynum and Weeks moved to metro Atlanta to start a ministry together in 2006, Global Destiny Church of Duluth. They have a $2.5 million home in Duluth and perhaps another residence outside of Georgia, said Tesser.

It is unknown whether the couple has a pre-nuptial agreement.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday September 7, 2007.
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