$1M heist not staged for insurance
The Gucci-wearing Brooklyn bishop targeted in a $1 million jewelry heist denied Friday that the robbery was staged for an insurance payout.
Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead was asked about the possibility, which has been raised on social media, at an “emergency’’ press conference, according to the Brooklyn Paper.
He denied the scenario while griping about how hard it’s been to win “sympathy’’ over his diamond-studded losses.
“Fendi, Louis, and Gucci, why can’t we wear that in church? What’s wrong with that?” Miller-Whitehead said, referring to his many luxury-brand suits.
Miller-Whitehead, who cops say was robbed by a trio of masked thieves in the middle of his live-streamed sermon Sunday in Canarsie, has had to fight back against critics who said his flashy lifestyle made him a ripe target for robbers.
He also has been embroiled in other controversies, including a newly uncovered lawsuit accusing him of bilking a parishioner out of her $90,000 life savings in 2020.
The flamboyant clergyman, who’s known for his expensive jewelry and luxury cars, said Friday that the press painted him as a “bling-bling bishop” because of his race.
“The media, for some reason, you portray black men as criminals,” Miller-Whitehead said. “My church can’t get no sympathy nor empathy.”
He told reporters he was prepared to answer any of their questions but when pressed on the lawsuit, he deferred inquiries to his lawyers.
When asked about his relationship with Mayor Eric Adams, who he’s been cozy with since Adams’ past life as Brooklyn borough president, Miller-Whitehead said he spoke Thursday with the mayor, who “just encouraged me to keep my head strong.”
During an unrelated press conference Friday, Adams said he has “many relationships with people” and will continue to “mentor” Miller-Whitehead because it’s his “obligation to mentor other black men that had negative encounters in their lives and other people in general.”
When asked about the lawsuit against Miller-Whitehead, Adams replied, “No one’s above the law” but “that is up to the courts to decide.”
Miller-Whitehead held his impromptu press conference to call on elected officials to pass a law allowing pastors and clergy staff to carry firearms in houses of worship so they can protect themselves.
“If the teachers can have it, we should be able to have it. No matter if we have a record, it should be exempt,” said Miller-Whitehead, who previously did time upstate for grand larceny and identity-theft charges.
A rep for the mayor told the Brooklyn outlet that Adams doesn’t support the proposal but does think armed security guards at places of worship is a good idea.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan
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