Contact: Tony Knight or Holly Baird, Sitrick And Company, 310-788-2850
Statement of Constance Fortune, November 5, 2009
Hello and thank you for coming. My name is Constance Fortune and I am a member of
the Church Executive Committee and Chairperson of the Church’s Board of Trustees #2.
We have gathered today so that the leadership of First AME Church of Los Angeles can
demonstrate our full, unwavering support for Senior Pastor John Hunter and First Lady
Pastor and Mrs. Hunter have been a blessing to this Church since they came to us five
years ago. We support them 100% and we do not for one moment believe the outrageous
allegations in the lawsuit filed by Brenda Lamothe.
We see this lawsuit as nothing more than an attempt to damage the pastor’s his reputation
in the community, and damage his relationship with the Church, and damage our
Church’s relationship with this community and the public.
As you probably already know, the Board of Stewards fully support Pastor John. We
have also joined with Pastor John and First Lady Denise as plaintiffs in our own lawsuit
against Mrs. Lamothe.
We felt we had to file suit to put a stop to this malicious attack on the Church and on the
Hunter’s relationship with the Church.
We were so pleased to see that our attorney, Mr. Robert W. Brockman, Jr., was quoted in
the media today stating unequivocally that Mrs. Lamothe’s allegations are untrue and will
be proven so in court.
I want to say a few words about why we filed our lawsuit and why be believe that Mrs.
Lamothe’s allegations are not just plain nonsense.
We first learned of this when Mrs. Lamothe’s attorney produced what he termed “love
letters” sent to Mrs. Lamothe by Pastor John and demanded a monetary settlement or he
would go to the media.
Both Pastor John and Mrs. Hunter immediately recognized these notes as their own
personal communications they had shared with each other as husband and wife.
They and we were shocked by what appeared to be an unlawful invasion of their privacy.
We felt we had to take immediate action and so we filed our lawsuit against Mrs.
She then retaliated by filing her own lawsuit. But her allegations don’t make any sense.
They appear to us to be just malicious lies.
For instance, she claims Pastor John fired her on June 2, 2009. But we have her
resignation letter dated Sept. 10, 2008 thanking him and describing him as, quote, “a
blessing to her life and career.”
She alleges that Pastor John told her that he was a “prophet,” which is something that is
Brenda Lamothe was an ordained minister in this Church and she knows our Methodist
doctrines and theology do not recognize our pastors as modern day prophets.
Mrs. Lamothe also claims that Pastor John gave her jewelry, which is no surprise to
anyone. Pastor John routinely brings jewelry as gifts for church executives and ministers
when he returns from his trips.
We who have known Mrs. Lamothe for years simply cannot make any credible sense of
Mrs. Lamothe was well known and had many friends in this church for years before
Pastor John came. Pastor John was the newcomer. It is unbelievable that she didn’t turn
to those she had known and trusted for years if there was something wrong.
We simply can’t believe that instead of telling her friends she was being mistreated by
someone that none of us really knew at the time, she kept quiet for years.
No reports were made to the leadership of the Church many of whom are women with
whom she came in regular contact and had good relations.
She then resigns in a letter that praises the Church and the pastor, and more than a year
later she hires a lawyer to demand money or she’ll go to the press.
This is why we are here to voice our support for our pastor and his ministry and why we
have filed suit against Brenda Lamothe.
I know a lot of you want to ask questions, but we have agreed on advice of our attorney,
since we are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, that we will not be answering any questions today.
We have issued two statements since yesterday and we have copies for you.
Again, thank you all for coming and God Bless you. #