The Austin pastor who accused Whole Foods of putting an anti-gay slur on a cake may have had financial motivations, having been sued just one month ago for unpaid student loans.
As Independent Journal Review reported, Jordan Brown claimed that he ordered a cake with the message “Love Wins” at Whole Foods' flagship Austin location on North Lamar Boulevard, but the cake he was given said “Love Wins F*g” instead. Brown posted a YouTube video complaining about the cake and filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods.
Whole Foods strongly denied the accusations, but didn't stop there. The company filed a $100,000 counterclaim against Brown for defamation and also asking for monetary sanctions against his attorney for filing a frivolous claim. As Fox 7 Austin's Ashley Paradez reported:
“The tables have turned - from people thinking a local pastor was the target of a homophobic attack, to people wondering if it was all a hoax.”
But breaking developments in this story may shed some light on what motivated Brown.
On Wednesday, Fox 7 Austin reported that Brown was sued just one month ago for nearly $30,000.
The complaint was filed on March 11, 2016 for breach of contract by the National Collegiate Student Loan Trust for unpaid student loans related to his education at Slippery Rock University, a public, master's level university in Pennsylvania. Brown is being sued for an unpaid student loan balance of $24,885.25 and unpaid interest of $3,030.26, for a total of $27,915.51.
Fox 7 Austin also reported that the Facebook page of Brown's church, the “Church of Open Doors,” was soliciting donations claiming that they are moving to a new location and expanding, but when they visited the address listed, they “found nothing, just an apartment complex.”
A Google search for the address listed on the Facebook page brings up the AMLI South Shore apartments. A nearby address listed on the Church of Open Doors' website isn't a church either, but a postal/courier business that also rents U-Haul trucks.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.