Updated 7/29 3:20 p.m. ET: Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead, who was robbed of his jewelry during a livestreamed sermon, has denied claims he stole $90K from a congregant.
The flashy bishop, who is known for sporting expensive jewelry and high-value clothing items while delivering his sermons, was accused of stealing $90,000 from a congregant in a lawsuit filed last year by 56-year-old Pauline Anderson, the New York Post reports. She claimed that she was convinced to liquidate her life savings as part of an “investment,” at which point he also allegedly told her that he would renovate a home for her.
When she asked him about the status of the allegedly promised home, he informed her that he was busy with an election campaign. The lawsuit alleged that Whitehead used the funds for a down payment on a $4.4 million home for himself in New Jersey. While that home purchase did not go through, he did eventually buy a $4.5 million apartment complex in Hartford, Connecticut.
In a recent sermon broadcast on Instagram Live, Whitehead denied the accusations against him and called it a “fictitious claim.” He said he hopes congregants will do “your own research,” and said that he’s waiting for the New York governor to reach out to him to address the robbery in his church.
See original story from 7/25/22 below.
Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead was delivering his livestreamed sermon on Sunday, when a group of armed assailants interrupted the service and robbed him at gunpoint, CBS News reports.
Whitehead said shortly after he started the sermon, three or four men kicked in a door at the back of the room and marched toward him with guns in hand. “I said, ‘Alright, alright, alright,’ pretty much stating that I’m not going to do anything because I know you’re coming for me. You’re coming straight to me. I don’t want my parishioners hurt. I’ve got women and children there,” Whitehead told the outlet. “As I got down, one went to my wife and took all her jewelry and had the gun in front of my 8-month-old baby’s face.”
The men took his bishop’s ring, wedding band, and various chains he was wearing underneath his robe. “They watched and they knew that I have other jewelry,” he explained, adding that he believes it was a targeted robbery. The whole moment was caught on the livestream of the sermon, although the men’s faces are not seen on camera. However, the stream did show a gun being pointed at Whitehead, who dropped to the ground and cooperated with the thieves.
At the time of the robbery, Whitehead said there were around 100 congregants in the room, including children. “My church is traumatized. The women and children are still crying. Babies are still crying,” he added. According to authorities, the assailants escaped the scene in a white Mercedes. Whitehead said that he previously helped turn in a suspect in the case of the fatal shooting of 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez back in May, and that might be why he was the target for the robbery.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams said that the NYPD is investigating the incident. “No one in this city should be the victim of armed robbery, let alone our faith leaders and congregants worshiping in a House of God,” said Adams. “The NYPD is investigating this crime and will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”
Per the New York Times, police said the attackers made off with approximately $1,000,000 worth of jewelry.
In 2018, Whitehead posted a video with Tekashi 6ix9ine, with a caption explaining that the rapper accepted Whitehead as his Bishop.
“This Was God’s Plan! When God Gave Me This Mantle, I Had To Be Ready! As God Continue To Use Me As His Mouth Piece ….. I Will Never Compromise His Word! Yet People Still Don’t Understand My Calling However God Is Amazing!” Whitehead wrote at the time. “Yes I Support And I Am Tekashi 6ix9ine Bishop! Yes God Loves Him! And Yes He Is Saved By God! God Will Use Him To Save A Nation , THATS Why He Couldn’t Go To Jail!! God’s Favor Is On His Life!”