Friday, 4 December 2020

EXCLUSIVE: Listen to Hillsong founder accuse disgraced pastor Carl Lentz of having 'more than one affair' and exhibiting 'general narcissistic behavior, manipulating and mistreating people' in bombshell leaked audio of his firing

 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 .


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

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

But in an audio recording of a meeting of church executives and top donors held around November 19, Houston (pictured) revealed allegations that Lentz, 42, had 'more than one affair'

But in an audio recording of a meeting of church executives and top donors held around November 19, Houston (pictured) revealed allegations that Lentz, 42, had 'more than one affair'

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

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 

Another Hillsong executive at the meeting revealed Lentz (pictured with his wife Laura and three children) may receive a golden parachute despite his scandalous exit from the church

Another Hillsong executive at the meeting revealed Lentz (pictured with his wife Laura and three children) may receive a golden parachute despite his scandalous exit from the church

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.

 general narcissistic behavior, manipulating, mistreating people, I think sometimes other hurtful things, the breaches of trust… constantly lying.

'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.'

The disgraced pastor has since sold his house in Montclair, New Jersey for $1.5 million and relocated his wife Laura and their three children to Los Angeles, where he's been spotted working out shirtless on the beach

The disgraced pastor has since sold his house in Montclair, New Jersey for $1.5 million and relocated his wife Laura and their three children to Los Angeles, where he's been spotted working out shirtless on the beach

DailyMail.com revealed the randy reverend Lentz is planning a long-term stay in California and has signed a one-year lease on the $4.5 million Manhattan Beach home (pictured)

DailyMail.com revealed the randy reverend Lentz is planning a long-term stay in California and has signed a one-year lease on the $4.5 million Manhattan Beach home (pictured)

They added: 'And the purpose of that is really to get them the help they need, and to help them through this difficult process, to work on their marriage.

'We're doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes, it's not anything we're going to promote publicly.'

Last month Karim went public claiming she was one of Lentz's mistresses, and that they had a serious but secret relationship during which he told her he was an unmarried sports agent.

'I wasn't there for just sex, we both found comfort and a deep, special connection with each other. I am very hurt because we both feel the same way about each other,' Karim, 34, told the Sun.

'He told me his name was Carl but that's it, he wouldn't tell me his last name. And he told me that his job was as a sports agent.'

Eventually, Ranin found out who Lentz was after she 'had a feeling something was up'.

'He didn't tell me that he was married at first, he doesn't wear a ring,' Ranin said, adding that she asked him if he was married after a few dates and he confessed to her about his wife of 17 years.

Despite being exposed, they continued their affair until early November.

Karim (pictured), 34, spilled details of their drunken nights together and how he reportedly told her that she was the best sex he¿d ever had

Karim (pictured), 34, spilled details of their drunken nights together and how he reportedly told her that she was the best sex he’d ever had

Other Hillsong members, who asked to remain anonymous, told DailyMail.com that Lentz used women he met backstage at church for affairs.

'I volunteered at the Green Room (Backstage) at Hillsong NYC for several years before leaving,' one church member said. 'Carl Lentz has been sleeping with women outside of his marriage for at least seven years.

'I was removed from my Green Room duties after seeing Carl with Kevin Durant and Draymond Green at 1OAK Nightclub the night before.

'Their table was right next to my promoter's and he left shortly after noticing me around 2am. Carl was very touchy with someone who was clearly NOT his wife.

'The next day, when I got to the church I was pulled aside and told I was no longer needed because they have enough people.'

Another member, close to Hillsong Green Room staff, said: 'I know that he was sleeping around for a long while, and not just in New York. LA, Seattle, pretty much anywhere he could go out, he was sleeping around.'

A third member claimed Lentz 'cheated the last five to six years with multiple women.'

'When it all came to light, the church received emails from at least three other women besides Ranin telling their story,' the Hillsong worshipper said.

In his Instagram post that led to his ousting from Hillsong, Lentz wrote: 'When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real consequences. I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that.'

The 42-year-old religious man was close friends with Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin. But since news of his affairs broke, Bieber and his wife Hailey unfollowed the disgraced megachurch pastor on Instagram

The 42-year-old religious man was close friends with Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey Baldwin. But since news of his affairs broke, Bieber and his wife Hailey unfollowed the disgraced megachurch pastor on Instagram 

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

 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

Lentz and Laura, who met as students at Hillsong's training college in Sydney, arrived in New York in 2010 to spread the church's style of mass gatherings, a slick online reach and Grammy-winning Christian rock music throughout the US.

Laura, who quit the church when her husband was fired, is reportedly staying with her husband and rebuilding their life.

The couple, who married in 2003 and have three children, sold their Montclair, New Jersey home and moved to Los Angeles shortly before the pastor's infidelity emerged.

Globally, more than 100,000 people attend weekly services at Hillsong in about 20 countries, including more than 10,000 at several locations in the US.

The church is popular among millennial and Gen Z and is known for its young, tattooed leaders like Lentz, who GQ magazine once dubbed as 'hypepriests' known for their designer clothes and ties to the stars.

Bieber once spent a month living with Lentz and his family at a time several years ago when trouble followed him around, from egging a neighbor's house to urinating in a bucket and getting caught on video.

Lentz has told the story of how he baptized the pop star in the New York bathtub of NBA veteran Tyson Chandler in the middle of the night.

But since news of his affairs broke, Bieber and his wife Hailey unfollowed the disgraced megachurch pastor on Instagram.

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