Christian Comedian John Crist Admits ‘Sexual Sin’ and ‘Addiction Struggles,’ Cancels 2019 Tour Dates
Christian comedian and YouTube personality John Crist has canceled all of his tour dates for 2019 after accusations have emerged of a years-long pattern of inappropriate sexual behavior toward multiple women. Crist has apologized for what he calls "sexual sin" and "addiction struggles," saying he has been receiving ongoing treatment for his problems.
Charisma News published a report on Wednesday (Nov. 6) in which several women accuse Crist of a years-long pattern of behavior, saying he has "exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women." Those accusations include sexting with a number of different women, beginning sexual relationships with women who are married or part of a committed relationship, repeatedly calling woman while intoxicated late at night and offering concert tickets in exchange for sexual favors.
Crist offered the following statement after Charisma News broke the story, which was based on first-hand accounts from five different women. While several of those women were willing to allow the outlet to use their names, Charisma News chose instead to protect their identities. Crist did not attempt to deny the story, writing in an email:
Over the past number of years, various women have accused me of behavior that has been hurtful to them. 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. 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.
Over several recent years, I have privately sought and received regular professional treatment for my 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.
Those closest to me—my family, team and close friends—have known about this battle for some time, and now you do too. I'm ashamed of my behavior and I'm so sorry for hurting so many people. 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."
Charisma News reports that multiple sources told them that Crist has been open in private about his struggles before, and received treatment as far back as 2014. He has never previously acknowledged his behavior in public in such a statement.
Crist dated country singer and Dancing With the Stars contestant Lauren Alaina for several months in 2019. She revealed that they had broken up after four months of dating in an interview on Sept. 16, just before making her debut on DWTS. Alaina has not commented on the allegations against Crist or his statement.
The 35-year-old rising star is widely known in Christian circles as one of the faces of a younger, hipper approach to Christianity, and Pollstar even lists him as one of the Top 100 touring artists in the world for his tours of churches and comedy clubs. He was slated to release a comedy special via Netflix titled I Ain't Prayin' For That in November and a book titled Untag Me in March.
It's unclear how his recent admissions might affect either one of those projects. Crist's accusers and others tell Charisma News that his behavior has been known in Christian circles for years, and that people in positions of responsibility and power might not have done enough to intervene. Two of Crist's accusers, referred to as "Nora" and "Lindsey" in the Charisma News article, say they've lost their faith in Christianity entirely as a result of Crist's behavior toward them, and another called "Sarah" says that the burden has to be on him to change.
"There's so much shame" in coming forward, she says.
"That you're stupid, and you shouldn't have or that you're the one who was in the wrong or maybe you brought this upon yourself. But the biggest thing is, we have to speak out," she adds. "It's really hard as a Christian too, because you don't want to ... hurt that person, or you don't want to completely destroy their character. You want to be Christlike, and you want to show love. But at a certain point, showing love to someone is being bold enough to speak up and to get them to seek help. ... If you truly love somebody, you don't stand by and allow it. You had to stand up and get it stopped. Nobody should have to live with this. I'm better than this. You're better than this. [John] is better than this."
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