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A woman purporting to be the mistress of former Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz is speaking out about her affair with the married former megachurch pastor and has issued a public apology to Lentz's wife, Laura.
The alleged mistress' admission of the affair comes as Hillsong Church announces an investigation into Lentz's behaviors as well as those at the church at large.
Hillsong Church fired Lentz following what it referred to as moral failures on his part.
What are the details?
According to the Daily Mail, 34-year-old Ranin Karim — a Muslim fashion designer who lives in New York City — said that she began the purported affair with Lentz earlier this year.
Karim — who said the alleged entanglement took place over a period of five months — said if she could talk to Lentz's wife today, she would say, "I'm sorry, life is complicated, and s*** happened, but I never intended to hurt you."
Karim told the outlet that Lentz would visit her apartment at least three times weekly "with tequila in his backpack so people wouldn't see him with it in the street."
"He said the sex we had was the best he's ever had in his life, and he couldn't stop being with me," she recalled.
Karim, who is of Egyptian and Palestinian descent, said that she didn't know "anything about the Christian world" or that he was a pastor at Hillsong Church. She also claimed not to know that he was married with a family.
During their conversations, Lentz, according to Karim, would "brag about his BMW" and flaunt his friendship with superstar musician Justin Bieber and others.
"When I found out he was married, I told him repeatedly, 'Go back to your wife, go back to your family,'" she recalled, "but he kept turning up in the lobby of my apartment block with bottles of Clase Azul tequila for us to drink. ... He said he felt bad for what he was doing to his wife, that she was an amazing, good woman, that he had never done it before, but his marriage wasn't perfect."
Following the announcement, the church revealed an investigation into "its own culture," the outlet added.
"Hillsong has appointed a New York City legal firm to conduct an 'in-depth review' into its culture after a 'number of people came forward' with concerns, following the revelation of Lentz's infidelities," the outlet reported.
A church spokesperson told the Daily Mail, "Since last week's announcement of a leadership change at Hillsong East Coast, we have heard from a number of people about their experiences and concerns."
"It is important that we establish the truth and then do everything we can to ensure our church is both a safe place and one that seeks to glorify God in all that we say and do," the spokesperson added. "For this reason we have decided to appoint a New York based legal firm that is not associated or affiliated with Hillsong to conduct an in-depth review and investigation into all concerns and any wider cultural issues."
The church's statement concluded, "We are taking this extremely seriously and on the basis of this report, we will be better positioned to take whatever actions are deemed necessary to right the wrongs and see Hillsong East Coast move forward in a way that enables many more people to find hope in Jesus."
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