A Brooklyn clergyman and apparent ally to New York City Mayor Eric Adams who said he was robbed during a live sermon on Instagram Sunday is facing blowback for comments he made against two pastors in an interview following the attack.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead leads the Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches and said in an Instagram post that he was robbed at gunpoint while delivering a sermon over the weekend. Footage of the incident shows Whitehead lying on the ground as armed, masked individuals approach him. In an exchange this week on the online show Larry Reid Live, the bishop accused the host and his guest, Pastor Geneses Warren, of mocking footage of the robbery, calling Warren “fat” and lobbing a homophobic slur at Reid.
"You want to sit here and validate homosexuality because you just admitted that you're a [slur]," Whitehead said to Reid, an Atlanta pastor and talk show host, during the exchange.
Reid and Warren apparently ridiculed parts of the robbery footage, and Whitehead appeared in an interview with them both to push back. He told Warren, another Atlanta pastor, “to go and get some weight loss … You're fat. You're a fat slob. I don't know you.”
Police said the robbers took more than $1 million worth of jewelry from the bishop and his wife. Following the alleged robbery Sunday, Adams said in a statement that the NYPD “will work tirelessly to bring the criminals involved to justice.”
The mayor later decried the subsequent comments Whitehead made on the radio in a statement.
“This would be inappropriate language for anyone, let alone a religious leader who should show a greater level of decorum,” Adams said. “Armed robberies are serious and traumatic experiences that should not be mocked, but no one should resort to homophobic comments or body-shaming in response.”
Whitehead has occasionally appeared with Adams in public, describing himself as a “mentee” of the mayor on his congregation’s website. The bishop did not respond to a request for comment.
Whitehead posted a video on Tuesday following his appearance on Larry Reid Live, and appeared to double down on his comments.
“Don’t sit here and tell me that I don’t like people of a different gender status, let me put it that way,” Whitehead said. “‘Cause I love all people.”
He added that “the Bible says homosexuality is an abomination.”
Reid, the show’s host, also did not respond to an emailed inquiry for this story. In separate shows shared on Reid’s Facebook page, he apologized for mocking Whitehead, and Whitehead apologized to Reid and Warren “for speaking out of character.”
The bishop has built a reputation around his prominent online presence as a religious figure and flashy lifestyle. He was last in the news for his involvement in the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, the suspect in the fatal Q train shooting in May. The bishop reportedly claimed that Abdullah’s family were congregants at his church and reached out to him for help. He garnered attention during the incident after wearing a Fendi suit jacket and riding to a Legal Aid office in a Rolls-Royce, according to reports.
Catalina Gonella contributed reporting.