The claimant in a suit against first AME Church and its head pastor, Rev. John J. Hunter, put her cards on the table this week, including one lascivious greeting card from the preacher that states he pleasured himself to thoughts of her. Brenda Lamothe claims that she was coerced into having sex with the preacher as part of her employment for nearly four years.

Hunter and the church, however, have filed a suit against the claimant, his former executive assistant, stating that the cards were personal possessions of Hunter and his wife that have been illegally taken. In other words, the claim is that Lamothe took notes that Hunter intended for his wife. Hunter's side also claims that Lamothe demanded money before taking her case to court.

Lamothe's publicist sent LA Weekly the greetings cards in question. One states, in handwriting, that the author is on a plane and when it lands the “first I will do is call you.” Another, in what appears to be the same writing, says, “Yes, I jacked off too — thinking of you.” The cursive loop in the first “Y” contains a smiley face within.

While Hunter's camp insists these were intimate mementos intended for his wife (Mrs. Hunter was quoted yesterday as saying they were “private communications between me and my husband”), they are not addressed to anyone in particular. And — do we have to say it — who in the history of the world tells his wife that he pleasured himself to thoughts of her?

Well, a judge (or judges) will decide who's zooming who here. But it's fun watching as the pew turns.

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