After having already faced controversy after her lottery win, a North Carolina woman is now reportedly being sued by her pastor.
Marie Holmes gained media attention after winning the Powerball in February 2015. Holmes, who had one of the three winning tickets worth $564 million, opted for the lump sum of $188 million, which came to $127 million after taxes.
Holmes first garnered national headlines after using her lottery winnings to bail her boyfriend, Lamarr McDow, out of prison four times to the tune of $21 million, reports Black America Web. Now, the single mother is reportedly facing a $10 million lawsuit from Kevin Matthews, a local pastor who alleged that Holmes engaged in a verbal contract with him regarding her financing the land to serve as a retreat facility.
“I didn’t see this coming and I think it was a third party that came along and told her not to do this,” Matthews told EURweb
Matthews said he met with Holmes and ministered to her and others at her new house. He asked her to contemplate giving him either $1 million, $1.5 million or $2 million for his project to buy the land for the facility. In December 2015, Holmes donated $700,000 to Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
“God led him to her house and he prayed with her,” Matthews said in the Electronic Urban Report interview.
After numerous meetings, Holmes allegedly agreed to give him $1.5 million toward the retreat center. The pastor reportedly spoke with various realtors, told them he was due to receive a “blessing” from Holmes, and made a verbal contract to buy the land for the facility.
Matthews believes Holmes’ aunt, Carmel Wheaton, decided to intervene and stop Holmes from giving him the money. Wheaton reportedly called Matthews to say they had decided to not send him the money, and was allegedly “appalled that a pastor would even ask for money.”
“Because of the emotional distress and mental stress, they put me through, I had to start taking more medicine for anxiety and depression due to this situation,” said Matthews.
Holmes' boyfriend reportedly said to the pastor, “There was nothing ever written down so the best thing you can do is mind your business and Marie will mind her business.”
Ruth Sheehan, Holmes’ attorney, said she was unaware of the lawsuit, reported Electronic Urban Report.