According to local NBC News-affiliate KXAN, the openly gay pastor who is being sued by Whole Foods for falsely alleging that an employee of the company wrote “Love Wins, Fag” on his cake had been sued just a few weeks earlier for defaulting on a $27,000 student loan.
Openly gay pastor and activist Jordan Brown caused a stir recently when he posted a viral video alleging that he ordered a “Love Wins” cake from Whole Foods only to be traumatized to find the triumphant pro-LGBT phrase turned into an anti-LGBT hate crime. Amid a massive outcry against Whole Foods’ supposed homophobia, Brown filed a lawsuit seeking damages for all the mental anguish the incident caused him.
But apparently Brown forgot that Whole Foods has surveillance cameras, one of which provided evidence suggesting that the whole incident was yet another hate crime hoax. The footage shows that the sticker on the cake box that Brown claimed he did not remove, was in fact in a different place when he checked out. After doing some more digging, the company announced Tuesday that it was filing a counter-suit against Brown to the tune of $100,000 for having “intentionally, knowingly and falsely accused Whole Foods and its employees of writing the homophobic slur.”
“After a deeper investigation of Mr. Brown’s claim, we believe his accusations are fraudulent and we intend to take legal action against both Mr. Brown and his attorney,” the company explained in a statement. “We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community, and we appreciate the team members and shoppers who recognize that this claim is completely false and directly contradicts Whole Foods Market’s inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity.”
Since Whole Foods’ announcement Tuesday, the plot has thickened. Local station KXAN came across some information that could point to a motive behind the pastor’s apparently hoax-based lawsuit: he’d just been sued for failing to pay his student loan.
“Wednesday, KXAN obtained a copy of the lawsuit from the Travis County Clerk’s Office claiming Brown defaulted on a $27,000 student loan,” reports KXAN. “The petition was filed March 11, 2016 by a student loan trust, and said Brown stopped paying on the student loan issued for the 2007-2008 school year at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.”
KXAN may have also discovered that Brown’s church is itself some kind of hoax. A reporter for KXAN went to check out the address listed on the loan lawsuit and found that it’s the same address the website for Brown’s church, Church of Open Doors, lists as its address. Though the church’s website claims it meets at his apartment’s social hub, when KXAN asked the apartment manager, he said it didn’t meet there.