Eddie Long
Bishop Eddie Long gave a sermon where he addressed sex scandal allegations at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Sept. 26, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images

Something is seriously wrong with Atlanta Bishop Eddie Long—at least, that’s what some people on Twitter wrote after pictures of Long looking emaciated resurfaced Wednesday. Rumors about his health have circled for weeks, with one accusation claiming he was in hospice.

Long, who leads New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, admitted to a “health challenge,” but didn’t name the apparent illness. Long apparently attributes his drastic weight loss to a vegan diet.

“No, not ever in hospice! Currently, not accepting calls but thanks for verifying the rumor,” his assistant, Elder April, McLaughlin told the Christian Post in early December. She added Long was “doing well.”

Still, rumors about Long’s health persisted. The gossip went viral when news site Bossip posted memes about the bishop Wednesday. There are some rumors that he has AIDS or HIV, though none of those appear to be legitimate.

The preacher was accused of coercing four young men into sexual relations in 2011. During a stint on the “Steve Harvey” show the same year, he would not answer if he abused the teenage boys.

“Can you answer this question with a yes or a no: Did you ever have sexual relationships with any of your accusers?” Harvey asked.

“I'm bound by court. I can't make any statement about that,” Long answered.

Since the alleged sexual encounters happened when the teenagers were 17 and older, police did not press charges. The age of consent in Georgia is 16.

Long, who had a history of being anti-gay, reportedly coerced the men through Biblical quotes, international trips to New Zealand and luxurious gifts like cars, the Daily Mail wrote in 2011.

Long said being accused of sexual misconduct made him contemplate suicide. 'When I was being condemned from the four corners of the Earth... I had a moment. I had a moment when I wanted to kill myself. And was ready,” he said. “You hear so much from so many. And I guess the shouts, when you're going through... The shouts of your haters seem to be louder and more multiplied than people who are with you.”

Details of the case were not released. His plea was not disclosed.

Long joined his church in 1987 when there were only 300 members. It has grown to 25,000.

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