One year after media headlines alleged that James Fortune assaulted his wife, the gospel singer is opening up about how prayer and therapy helped him overcome anger issues.
“I wasn’t right. I struggled in different areas of my life, but one of my main struggles was being able to control anger,” Fortune revealed on the syndicated radio program called The Yolanda Adams Morning Show. “Anger management was an issue for me. I found out as I spent the last year going through therapy and counseling that it’s a lot of people’s issue.”
Last year, media reports alleged that Fortune was charged with assault of an unnamed family member in October 2014. Although Fortune’s wife, Cheryl Fortune, was never officially confirmed as the victim of the alleged assault that led to the singer’s arrest, ABC13 reported that she suffered from broken bones and internal injuries at the time of his arrest.
The news reports came two years after Fortune was sued for $5 million by his stepson’s father who alleged that the singer burned the boy in hot water as an act of discipline 11 years prior. The 36-year-old Grammy nominated recording artist, songwriter and producer admitted that he needed to overcome some issues, but denied that the details published in media reports were all true.
“Where I was last October, a lot of people did see what was alleged in the news and of course the media just completely blew the whole situation out of proportion,” Fortune said on “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show.” “But more than that, I needed to work on me.”
While Fortune was grateful that God offered him forgiveness, the singer needed to overcome his anger issues in order to be renewed.
“A lot of times you’ll always say what you’ll never do but when you can’t control your anger anything can trigger and make you do something that maybe you felt like you would never do. For me I ask God, of course I thank God for forgiveness but for me it was more than just forgiving,” Fortune said. “I wanted to be better. I wanted to be changed. I wanted God to do something on the inside of me so that my story, my testimony could help someone else.”
For Fortune, anger manifests itself into more than just physical violence. He spoke about intimidation, mental and psychological abuse that can impact children and family members.
Growing up as a preacher’s son, Fortune said he understood that some people in the Christian community might shy away from the thought of undergoing therapy outside of the church. However, Fortune explained why prayer alone did not work for him.
“(Anger) festers and sometimes you don’t even know where it’s coming from. That’s why what has helped me in therapy is understanding some of the things that have happened throughout my life as a child that has contributed to me being able to have this problem,” he said. “I wanted to go to a therapist, I wanted to go to some classes. I still am, I’m still allowing God to finish some work in me.”
The past year seems to have served as inspiration for a new James Fortune & FIYA song called “Prayer Saved My Life,” which the songwriter created about those who prayed for him when he didn’t have the strength.
“The past twelve months have been the hardest year of my life…I had to stop running from the part of me that I didn’t like and deal with it head on. God couldn’t change what I was afraid to confront,” Fortune wrote as an introduction to his new song on Soundcloud . “When I couldn’t find the words and strength to pray, I thank GOD someone else was praying for me. The prayers of the righteous for me and my family really did save my life.”