*Update: James Fortune has issued the following statement: I recently became aware of a civil suit pending against my wife, Cheryl Fortune and I, for an incident that occurred in 2001 involving my stepson. There was a criminal investigation and all matters were resolved in 2003. Since that time, my family and I, including my stepson, have continued with family traditions and always have a loving family environment.
We are shocked by this lawsuit but understand people are free to use the court system to pursue claims, whether they contain merit or baseless matters. We are confident through this process, if it proceeds to a judge or jury, the ultimate decision maker will render a decision that is favorable to the circumstances and timing surrounding this situation. We believe in our American justice system and know it will work for us as it has for millions of other Americans.
I love all my children, including my stepson, and I ask for your prayers as we deal with this matter privately. Thank you for your continued support for me, my family, and ministry.*
According to an article and news video from My Fox Houston, popular Houston gospel music artist James Fortune and his wife Cheryl Fortune have been named in a five million dollar lawsuit related to the abuse of James Fortune's stepson and Cheryl Fortune's son.
The incident, which happened in 2001, resulted in the 4-year old child having severe burns over nearly 50% of his body. The lawsuit states that the child has had to undergo skin graft operations and is permanently disfigured. In 2003, James Fortune pled guilty to felony injury to a child and received six years deferred adjudication.
The child is now 15-years old and the family has stated that the money from the lawsuit would be used to pay for plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement from the abuse.
James Fortune is from and still lives in the Houston area. He and his group FIYA are multiple Stellar award winning artists known for the hit gospel songs "I Believe" and "I Trust You."