Prominent author, college president, and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza is facing questions from the board of the college he oversees after an article in the Christian publication WORLD alleges he has been carrying on a relationship with a woman who is not his wife.
The article about D’Souza — president of the The King’s College in New York City — appeared online Tuesday morning by author Warren Smith, a former public relations consultant for the school, and is also slated for publication in the November 3 issue of WORLD Magazine.
According to the article, D’Souza attended a gathering of roughly 2,000 people on Sept. 28 at First Baptist North in Spartanburg, S.C. to speak alongside other prominent Christians about defending their faith and living Christian lives. While there, it says, the “2016: Obama’s America” creator was accompanied by woman named Denise Odie Joseph II, whom he introduced to at least three people as his fiancée. But that wasn’t all. Smith writes:
Finally, near 11 p.m., event organizer Tony Beam escorted D’Souza and Joseph to the nearby Comfort Suites. Beam noted that they checked in together and were apparently sharing a room for the night in the sold-out hotel. The next morning, around 6 a.m., Beam arrived back at the hotel and called up to D’Souza’s room. “We’ll be down in 10 minutes,” D’Souza told Beam. D’Souza and Joseph came down together, and Beam took them to the airport.
The next day another conference organizer, Alex McFarland, distressed by D’Souza’s behavior, confronted him in a telephone conversation. D’Souza admitted he shared a room with his fiancée but said “nothing happened.” When I called D’Souza, he confirmed that he was indeed engaged to Joseph, but did not explain how he could be engaged to one woman while still married to another. When asked when he had filed for divorce from his wife, Dixie, D’Souza answered, “Recently.”
According to court documents reviewed by Smith, D’Souza had filed for divorce from his wife of 20 years, Dixie, on October 4 — about a week after the speaking engagement.
Upon release of the article, the board of Kings College released a statement explaining its members spoke with D’Souza about his relationship and will be meeting this Wednesday and Thursday to assess the matter further. Given that Kings is a Christian college, its board asserts that values consistent with the faith and for which its students can use as a beacon are the first priority:
TheBlaze caught up with Smith, who attended the conference in South Carolina with D’Souza, to find out what motivated him to write the article and glean greater insight into the matter concerning D’Souza and his relationship. When asked why his former relationship with King’s College was not disclosed in the article, Smith said that “never had a formal staff position” and that his affiliation with the school was “well in the past.”
But Smith’s mark is still on the college website. A press release still alive on the site dated September 2, 2010 lists him as the contact for the school and a hyperlink to his name reveals a King’s College email address.
WORLD’s Editor-in-Chief Marvin Olasky also formerly served as King’s College provost but Smith explained that since Olasky did not serve as editor for the D’Souza story, he did not see a conflict. He added that the only reason Olasky departed King’s was to serve in a fulltime capacity at WORLD.
Smith, who told TheBlaze that he has known D’Souza in a professional capacity for roughly five years, ceded that it is always “difficult for us, as Christians, to write difficult stories about other Christians.” He maintained, however, that ”we also believe it is our duty to do so.”
“We are a news magazine that is written from a Christian perspective…We felt we had an obligation to write it.”
Smith said he did speak with D’Souza who confirmed the young woman was indeed his fiancée and that following his WORLD report, the “Roots of Obama’s Rage” author sent a text message saying his engagement had been suspended. In his WORLD report, Smith writes:
According to San Diego County (Calif.) Superior Court records, D’Souza filed for divorce only on Oct. 4, the day I spoke with him. Under California law, that starts the clock on a six-month waiting period for divorce. D’Souza on Oct. 4 told me his marriage was “over,” said he “is sure Denise is the one for me,” and said he had “done nothing wrong.”
Smith added that he is not in a position to speculate about D’Souza’s motivations for being so open about his new engagement and that he simply wanted to be as accurate as he could in his reporting.
According to Smith’s article, D’Souza asserted that King’s board chairman Andy Mills has known about his marital problems for at least two years, and a spokesman for Mills told Smith the chairman was “hopeful about restoration and both he [D’Souza] and Andy were praying to that end.”