New York Bishop Lamor Whitehead files $200 million lawsuit against Brandon Belmonte

Flashy Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead has filed a $200 million lawsuit against a businessman he alleges defamed in an interview with the New Yorker and the FBI – claiming it was the reason for the federal fraud charges against him.

The 44-year-old controversial cleric alleges that Brandon Belmonte defamed him in a Jan. 14 New Yorker article titled “The Mayor and the Imposter,” according to Tuesday’s lawsuit in the Manhattan Supreme Court.

“He destroyed my life and turned my life upside down and it’s all based on lies,” Whitehead told The Post of Belmonte on Thursday.

Belmonte, 38, claimed in the article that Whitehead – who has ties to Mayor Eric Adams – tried to get a $5,000 kickback from him, saying, “I have City Hall in my back pocket.”

Belmonte said Whitehead told him the mayor could turn a property he was developing in the Bronx into a homeless shelter.

“You get city benefits,” Belmonte claimed, Whitehead said. “We will make millions together.”

Belmonte claimed that Whitehead threatened to beat him up if he didn’t spit out the money. Belmonte reported the alleged shakedown to the FBI.

Bhisop Lamor Whitehead and Mayor Eric Adams
Bishop Lamor Whitehead has filed a $200 million defamation lawsuit over a man’s statements in the media and to the FBI.
Paul Martinka

Belmonte’s comments “hurt [Whitehead’s] reputation as a pastor and as a professional real estate investor,” the filing reads.

Whitehead “continues to have and lose business, church members, revenue and has been subject to a federal criminal complaint based on Mr. Belmonte’s false statements,” the lawsuit reads.

Bishop Lambor Whitehead.
Whitehead alleges that Brandon Belmonte’s claims that he was trying to get a bribe from him on the mayor’s behalf were a lie.
Gregory P. Mango

In December, Whitehead – who drives a Rolls-Royce, wears luxury jewelry and wears Gucci suits – was arrested for allegedly defrauding members of his community – the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Canarsie.

Whitehead was slapped with additional charges earlier this month for allegedly making fake bank records to try to get loans for his million-dollar New Jersey mansion.

Whitehead — who made headlines after having $1 million worth of jewelry stolen from him at gunpoint during a livestream sermon — told the Post that Belmonte is indeed the scammer and hopes prosecutors will reevaluate his case after they have examined Belmonte.

Bishop Lamor Whitehead exits federal court.
Whitehead claimed federal charges against him were also based on Belmonte’s alleged lies.
Gregory P. Mango

“I want the world to see how the bishop is portrayed as a villain rather than a victim,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead’s attorney, Brian Ponder, told The Post: “I think people should really follow the civil case closely because the facts that will be decided in the civil case will fully debunk the narrative alleged in the criminal case.”

Whitehead also filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit in November alleging that New York radio personality Tarsha Nicole Jones wrongly called him a “drug dealer” on the air. This case is still pending.

Belmonte did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. New York Bishop Lamor Whitehead files $200 million lawsuit against Brandon Belmonte


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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