Christian comedian John Crist has cancelled a series of tour dates after admitting to addictive behavior following sexual misconduct accusations outlined in an expose.
The claims were first revealed in a publication called Charisma, which detailed the accusations made against Crist by five women. Although the site reported that four of those women were willing to be named, the site chose to use pseudonyms for them. “After prayerful deliberation, our editorial board has chosen instead to protect the reputations and identities of those sources,” the site reported, adding that the allegations against Crist are not criminal.
Crist is a social media influencer in the Christian world, who has 1.2 million YouTube followers. His profile reads, “‘I ain’t prayin for that’ coming to Netflix 11/28!!” Crist’s website biography describes him as “one of today’s fast-rising stand-up comics, with more than one billion video views online, more than four million social media followers and sold-out shows from coast to coast.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Charisma Article Detailed a Series of Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against Crist
The Charisma article by Taylor Berglund contained detailed accounts by the women. One woman alleged that Crist made drunken advances on her after she recorded an interview with him for a podcast and after he met her boyfriend. “The one thing that stopped me from believing he was creepy is John so proudly parades his face as a Christian,” she told Charisma. “I’ve let myself believe that just because someone is a Christian means they won’t do something intentionally bad. But the truth is, John invited me to his apartment with the intention of sleeping with me after shaking hands with my boyfriend.”
That was just one account in the Charisma article, which accused Crist of “individually sexting multiple women during the same time period, initiating sexual relationships with married women and women in committed relationships, offering show tickets in exchange for sexual favors and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk.”
The site added that Crist allegedly “would initiate contact through social media, cultivate a flirty relationship and then initiate (or attempt to initiate) sexting and other sexual activities in addition to emotional manipulation.”
Crist later released a lengthy statement to Charisma. It reads:
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.”
Crist is known for viral videos called things like “Millennial International,” “Honest Football Coach” and “Lady with a Bible Verse For Every Situation.” He sold over 197,000 tickets for his “Human Being Tour,” his website says. The Netflix release is described by his biography page as “his first hour-long comedy special.”
He explains on his website: “I grew up in the deep south, my dad is a pastor, and I was the third of eight homeschooled children. My first job was at Chick-fil-A. Coming from a background like that, how do you NOT write jokes?!” He said this of the church: “Man, I love the local church. Growing up serving at my dad’s church, I know the effect that a healthy, vibrant church can have on the community. If I ever come across as critical, it’s because I love the church and I wish for so much more from it. I think the local church is our only hope for change in America, that said… we do some weird stuff.”
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