Christian comedian John Crist has admitted to “destructive and sinful” behavior and has canceled the remainder of his tour following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Crist, who has a substantial YouTube following and an upcoming Netflix special, publicly apologized after the allegations were made public in a report published Wednesday by Charisma News.
The Christian outlet claimed that the 35-year-old comic used his fame and image as a Christian to exploit women over the course of several years by having sexual relationships with women who were not single, sending sexual text messages and calling women while drunk, and trading tickets to his performances for sexual favors, among other things.
The magazine detailed the allegations of five women, whose identities it chose to protect by using pseudonyms; one woman, who claimed to have had a sexting relationship with Crist, alleged that he asked her to send him explicit photos of herself, but said that their relationship ended after she found out that he was also seeing other women, claims which he denied.
Another woman described being treated similarly, claiming that Crist told her that he loved her and wanted to marry her, all while pursuing relationships with other women, according to the magazine. Another woman claimed that when she and her boyfriend met Crist in 2017, he admitted to them both that he was a sex addict; when she and Crist later met alone for what she thought would be the beginning of a mentoring relationship, he tried to kiss her and later sent her sexual text messages, she claimed.
In a statement issued to Charisma News, Crist acknowledged the allegations and called his behavior “destructive and sinful.”
“While I am not guilty of everything I've been accused of, I confess to being guilty of this—I have treated relationships with women far too casually, in some cases even recklessly,” his statement reads, in part. “My behavior has been destructive and sinful. I've sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most. I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process. I am sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused these women and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I have also hurt the name of Jesus and have sought His forgiveness.”
Crist went on to say that, in recent years, he’s gotten professional help and treatment for his “sexual sin and addiction struggles.”
“I'm committed to getting healing and freedom from my sin and have decided to cancel my remaining tour dates this year and to postpone all future commitments in order to devote all my time and energy on getting healthy spiritually, mentally and physically,” he said.
He then stated that he is “ashamed” of his behavior and apologized for “hurting so many people,” adding, “I don't blame anyone but myself. I'm responsible for my actions and I've repented and am taking full ownership. I realize it will be difficult for some people to ever forgive me, and I accept that as a result of my bad decisions and actions.”
“My entire career has been lived out on stage, and even though I've shared many of my life struggles with my audiences, I've lived in constant fear of the darkest parts of my life being exposed publicly. My greatest fear has been that those who have loved and supported me would hate me if they knew everything about me. I now humbly seek forgiveness and mercy and love—not just for me, but for those I've hurt along my path. I'm so sorry,” he concluded.
Crist, who has more than 526k YouTube subscribers, 1.2 million Instagram followers, and 197k Twitter followers, has a Netflix special, “I Ain’t Prayin’ For That,” which was slated to hit the streaming service on Nov. 28, but the future of that project remains to be seen. A Netflix representative told CNN that plans to premiere the special are currently on hold.
Crist was linked earlier this year to country singer Lauren Alaina after the 24-year-old revealed in May that the two had been dating for a number of months, PEOPLE reports. She then said in September that they’d parted ways, remarking during an interview with “The Bobby Bones Show,” “I don’t have a boyfriend anymore.”
“I mean, there’s, like, no big story. We were like, best friends before we dated, and we’re still best friends,” she said. “It just didn’t work out. I guess that’s how dating goes, right?”
Representatives for Alaina have not yet responded to CNN’s request for comment regarding the recent news, and when contacted by CNN, Crist’s spokesperson directed the outlet to the statement he issued to Charisma News.
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