DULUTH, Ga. — Televangelist Juanita Bynum‘s husband said Friday he and his wife spent the night together the day before she says he beat her, and it had boosted his hopes for reconciliation.
Thomas W. Weeks III‘s comments at the headquarters of Global Destiny Ministries _ where the couple has preached for several years _ were his first to reporters about the alleged attack on his estranged wife last month.
“In the last five years I have always loved my wife and have been nothing but faithful to her,” Weeks said. “I want to be clear in saying I do not condone in any way shape or form violence of any kind towards women.”
The incident unfolded the morning of Aug. 22 when police were called to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, where they found Bynum with bruises. According to the police report, she told officers Weeks “choked her, pushed her down, kicked and stomped her … until a bellman pulled him off of her” the night before.
Weeks faces charges of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. He is free on $40,000 bond and is not allowed to have contact with Bynum.
Weeks said Friday that he and Bynum had met at a restaurant at the hotel the night of Aug. 21 for a business meeting. But one night earlier, he said, “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.”
He suggested he walked away when a dispute arose: “I have walked away from many situations between the two of us, just like I walked away that night,” he said. But he did not take questions, and did not explain how he “walked away.”
A spokeswoman for Bynum, Amy Malone, said the televangelist had not seen her husband’s statement and had no immediate comment.
Weeks told reporters their estrangement began on June 3 when Bynum announced to the church that she was “planning to leave our church never to return.” On June 14, Weeks said, Bynum sent him a letter through a lawyer asking him to “cease and desist selling any of our church ministry products with her name, face, image, sound or likeness.”
Bynum and Weeks wed in a million-dollar, televised ceremony in July 2002, and their marriage played a prominent role in their ministries. The couple co-wrote “Teach Me How to Love: The Beginnings.”
Bynum, 48, is head of a ministry that also includes a gospel record label and seminar tours. She has sold thousands of motivational books, CDs and DVDs related to empowerment and relationships.
Weeks, 40, is known to his followers as Bishop Weeks and is head of Global Destiny Ministries, based in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth.
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