Thomas Weeks, Juanita Bynum must meet for mediation next month

ATLANTA — Televangelist Juanita Bynum must meet next month with her estranged husband – who is accused of attacking her in a hotel parking lot – to resolve their pending divorce, according to his divorce attorney.

Randy Kessler said Weeks and his client, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, will sit down on Feb. 18 for mediation, a shorter and less public alternative to a trial. The date is the deadline set by a Gwinnett County Superior Court judge.

Bynum filed for divorce against Weeks on Sept. 27, about a month after he was accused of attacking her in a hotel parking lot. Weeks still faces criminal charges related to the alleged attack.

No trial date has been set in the criminal case, although Weeks and Bynum – along with their attorneys – met Friday in Fulton County Superior Court for a status hearing that lasted most of the day. Details of that hearing were not made public.

The couple has been estranged since June and has not seen each other in months, since Weeks is barred from contacting Bynum under the terms of his release on bond. On Tuesday, Weeks’ attorneys filed a motion forcing Bynum to give her deposition in the divorce proceeding – a step she has postponed repeatedly, effectively stalling the mediation process, Kessler said.

“You can’t settle if you can’t get together,” Kessler said.

Bynum is now scheduled to be deposed the same day as the mediation.

On Aug. 22, Bynum claims her husband beat her. According to a police report, she told officers Weeks “choked her, pushed her down, kicked and stomped her … until a bellman pulled him off of her.”

Weeks has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. Bynum’s divorce petitions cited “cruel treatment” and said the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

“Prophetess Bynum looks forward to resolving all the legal matters and moving forward with her ministry,” said Amy Malone, a spokeswoman for Bynum.

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 head of Global Destiny Ministries, based in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth. He has also planned a domestic violence conference for next month.

Weeks co-wrote “Teach Me How to Love: The Beginnings” with Bynum and the two wed in a million-dollar, televised ceremony in 2002.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
AP, via the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, USA
Jan. 12, 2008
Errin Haines
www.ledger-enquirer.com

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This post was last updated: Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 5:52 PM, Central European Time (CET)