The husband of evangelist Juanita Bynum held a press conference Friday at his Duluth Church to tell the world he is not an abuser of women.
Thomas W. Weeks, 40, also a preacher, said he felt compelled to speak his peace after his famous wife announced to the public recently that she was “the new face of domestic violence.”
Weeks, who faces felony charges for allegedly beating, choking and stomping his wife to the ground at a hotel parking lot on Aug. 21, said there are “two sides to every story.”
“I want to be clear in saying I do not condone in any way, shape or form violence of any kind towards women,” said Weeks in a conference room at Global Destiny Church of Duluth. “My role has always been to operate as a protector and not as an aggressor. I have walked away from many situations between the two of us, just like I walked away that night.”
Weeks said he and Bynum, 48, were trying to reconcile the night before the alleged attack. They separated in June.
“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,” Weeks said.
On the day of the alleged attack, Weeks said he went to the hotel restaurant because his wife needed help. Weeks said Bynum had banned him from using her likeness at his church in June when they separated. But on Aug. 21, Weeks said, Bynum asked to return to Global Destiny Church to raise money for her mentorship classes.
“She shared her urgency that we meet that night because she needed to solidify the location to make her commercials,” he said.
Bynum has said she was beaten that night and that she had a stormy relationship with Weeks that included pushing and shoving. She filed for divorce on Monday, claiming “cruel treatment” as the grounds.
Weeks said the facts of the criminal case will come out at the appropriate time. He said he still wants to avoid a divorce.
“In the last five years, I have always loved my wife and have been nothing but faithful to her,” he said. “I understand that my silence to date has given me the perception of guilt, but understand that it was because my belief in the sacredness of marriage and hopes of true and full reconciliaiton as to why I kept silent.”
Weeks, 40, was charged with felony aggravated assault, felony terroristic threats and two counts of simple battery in connection with the alleged attack on Bynum the night of Aug. 21. He could face up to 27 years in jail if convicted.
Bynum’s divorce petition was filed in Ware County, where Bynum has a home. It was later dismissed and is slated to be refiled in Gwinnett County where Weeks lives.
Bynum and Weeks were married July 22, 2002. Weeks said he was notified of the June separation by a fax.
Weeks’ attorney, Randy Kessler, said Bynum turned down an offer to mediate the divorce privately. There is no prenuptial agreement, Kessler said.
“This is not a case about money,” Kessler said. “He has had his mind on the relationship. Legally, I could advise him he is entitled to alimony, but he would probably be upset at me if I mentioned it.”
Weeks said he hopes his wife will not re-file the divorce petition in Gwinnett, but added he will live with it if he must.
“I would like Juanita to know that I respect but regret her decision for divorce . . . I am praying God’s best for her.”
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