Christian comedian John Crist issues apology after sexual misconduct allegations

American comedian John Crist has issued a public apology for his “sinful” behaviour after a Christian magazine reported accusations of sexual misconduct against the comedian from five women.

Though the Christian comic claimed he’s not guilty of “everything” he’s been accused of, he admitted to treating personal relationships with women “too casually” and often “recklessly.”

According to Charisma News — a monthly, U.S.-based Christian magazine — the accusations against Crist include harassing and manipulating young women, “sexting” multiple partners at the same time, adultery and bribing women with show tickets in exchange for sexual favours.

In an official statement provided to the magazine, Crist, 35, said: “My behaviour has been destructive and sinful. I’ve sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most.”

Crist was set to launch his debut Netflix special, I Ain’t Prayin’ for That, later this month, however according to a representative of the streaming giant, it was put “on hold” after the allegations, which span a period of seven years, surfaced on Wednesday.

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One of the accusers, identified using the pseudonym Kate, told Charisma that after successfully organizing an interview with Crist, the comedian revealed to her and her boyfriend that he was a “sex addict” before giving her his phone number and later inviting her to his apartment alone.

Kate claimed that after meeting up, going rollerblading and getting intoxicated together, Crist attempted to kiss her. Kate told Charisma she struggled to push him away.

“The one thing that stopped me from believing he was creepy is John so proudly parades his face as a Christian,” she said. “I’ve let myself believe that just because someone is a Christian means they won’t do something intentionally bad.

John Crist poses after his performance at the Ice House Comedy Club on Dec. 17, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif.

John Crist poses after his performance at the Ice House Comedy Club on Dec. 17, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif.

Michael Schwartz/WireImage

“The truth is John invited me to his apartment with the intention of sleeping with me after shaking hands with my boyfriend.”

In wake of the allegations, Crist cancelled all of his remaining tour dates and said he plans to get “regular professional treatment for sexual sin and addiction struggles.”

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Crist’s full statement continued: “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.

“Those closest to me have known about this battle for some time, and now you do, too.”

Though he did not clarify which of the sexual misconduct allegations were true, Crist took “full ownership” of his actions.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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Crist’s debut comedy special, I Ain’t Prayin’ for That, was initially set for a Nov. 28 release through Netflix.

The streaming company labelled the special the “divine comedy special of the year.”

As of this writing, it’s unclear whether or not its release will be rescheduled or cancelled altogether.

Netflix did not provide additional comment to Global News after reaching out.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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