Disgraced celebrity pastor Carl Lentz had multiple affairs – but is still getting a golden parachute, Hillsong church founder Brian Houston claimed in a bombshell audio recording, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The former head of the megachurch’s New York branch and favorite of famous members including Justin Bieber, was fired last month and admitted he cheated on his wife.
The focus was initially on his 34-year-old mistress, New York City designer Ranin Karim, who went public days after the scandal emerged claiming that she broke off a months-long secret relationship with the married pastor in early November.
But in an audio recording of a meeting of church executives and top donors held around November 19, Houston revealed allegations that Lentz, 42, had ‘more than one affair’.
‘It was more than one affair, they were significant. And at least some bad moral behavior had gone back historically, but not necessarily those affairs,’ Houston said in the recording obtained by DailyMail.com.
The church founder revealed the affairs were discovered when a staffer found ‘compromising’ texts on Lentz’s computer.
‘I can honestly say before God the first time I heard any moral complaint against Carl was when [Hillsong East Coast Chief Operating Officer Tolu Badders] contacted me,’ Houston said.
‘Tolu had a conversation with one of the staff members, and that staff member had found a very compromising chain of text messages on Carl’s laptop or computer. And so that person went straight to Tolu. And Tolu, to her credit, the first thing she did was call me.’
The Hillsong founder accused his former pastor of ‘general narcissistic behavior, manipulating, mistreating people, I think sometimes other hurtful things, the breaches of trust… constantly lying.’
He told the meeting members that Lentz was ‘a difficult man to have any kind of direct conversation with, because it was always defensive, it would always be put back on the other person, as though they’re the ones with the problem.’
The comments were less varnished than Houston’s statement to all church members in the wake of the scandal, in which he merely referred to ‘leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures’ by the celebrity pastor.
Another Hillsong executive at the meeting revealed Lentz may receive a golden parachute despite his scandalous exit from the church.
‘We’re working on a severance package which we’re negotiating with them on,’ George Aghajanian, General Manager and a director of Hillsong Church Australia said in the meeting.
‘They haven’t accepted that at this point in time.
‘We are trying to care for them as far as they are letting us care for them. And certainly our heart is to look after the children, to look after [Lentz’s wife] Laura, and even Carl who needs a lot of help.’
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Source: Daily Mail