First AME Church has filed suit against a woman who is claiming in superior court that the powerful congregation's leader, Rev. John J. Hunter, coerced her into having sex with him as part of her employment.
The legal push-back on the part of the South Los Angeles institution came Tuesday and was announced in a statement by high-power public relations firm Sitrick & Company. The church says that Brenda Lamothe "demanded money from the Church and well before she publicly leveled what church leaders consider to be false and spurious accusations."
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While Lamothe's suit alleges Hunter demanded "on-demand" sex from her as part of "God's will" until she was fired from the church in June, First AME contends that she sent a glowing resignation letter to the congregation 10 months earlier. Lamothe now works for the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The church claims the woman obtained written communication from the pastor and his wife and "may have acted in concert with others to distribute this wrongfully obtained material in an effort to disrupt and destroy the church's relationship with the Hunters."
Lamothe's suit, conversely, paints the reverend as a horny dog who took her to hotels throughout the region and even followed her on vacation twice to have sex with her. She is claiming that she suffered "anguish" and "emotional distress" as a result.
Hunter has been in hot water before, having admitted to spending $122,000 on a church credit card for personal expenses, including vacation charges. He says he's paying it back.