The woman with whom Carl Lentz allegedly had the torrid affair that ended his preaching career is now coming out to tell her side of the story.
As we’ve been reporting, the famous celebrity pastor — who was for a while Justin Bieber‘s personal spiritual advisor — was abruptly fired from his position at Hillsong Church in New York City last week due to “moral failures.” Soon after, he broke his silence to confess infidelity on his part — and now, we’re learning more about that apparent relationship outside his marriage.
Ranin, a designer by trade who is choosing to keep her last name private, spoke to The Sun about their illicit affair, sharing with the outlet “emotional text messages and videos” from Carl confirming a connection.
The 34-year-old revealed she’s opening up about their time together as a result of Lentz’s “offensive” Instagram post. Feeling it glossed over the seriousness of their relationship and made it seem like “they just had a fling,” Ranin claimed they actually felt a “deep, special connection” to each other.
The New Yorker explained (below):
“I wasn’t there for just sex, we both found comfort and a deep, special connection with each other. I am very hurt because we both feel the same way about each other. He loves me and I love him. It was a love relationship that wasn’t planned. It wasn’t just a fling or just a sexual relationship.”
Uh-oh. That’s never a good sign for a married person!
How It Started…
It all began in May at Domino Park in Brooklyn, when Lentz approached her to “flirt and make small talk.” A Muslim, Ranin was completely unfamiliar with the Christian and Evangelical world and thus didn’t recognize Lentz at all.
Immediately, he put the moves on, and even hid his last name from her while allegedly lying about his profession:
“I have no knowledge of the Christian world, I’m Muslim. He told me the most beautiful women come from the Middle East and we kept talking from there. We walked and talked more for a little bit and exchanged numbers. He told me his name was Carl but that’s it, he wouldn’t tell me his last name. And he told me that his job was as a sports agent.”
At the time, Carl even apparently claimed to her that he didn’t want to be found on Google so that she can “get to know him in person” instead. Smooth, man…
Sensing something was amiss, Ranin asked him whether he was married:
“He didn’t tell me that he was married at first, he doesn’t wear a ring. A few dates in, I had a feeling something was up so I asked him if he was married, and he admitted that yes, he had been for 17 years and has three kids. He texted me later that night and he said something like, ‘It was great getting to know you more. Sorry if you were bummed to find out I am married, I could tell you kind of were.’ At this point, I still didn’t know who he really was. So I’m like ‘what’s going on?’ So that day, using his phone number, I paid a website to do a search and I find all of this information about him and my mind was blown.”
Miffed, Ranin “called Carl out” about the infidelity, and he came over to her place in NYC that night to explain himself.
She recalled the line he used to try to get past his marriage, allegedly telling her:
“He said he had absolutely never strayed outside of his marriage before and was feeling guilty. But he told me that when he met me, God told him to tell me that I need to know my worth and there’s something special about me… whatever, whatever.”
This guy’s got a line for every situation, it seems.
…How It’s Going…
Nevertheless, the two continued to see each other. Ranin recalled they would hang out “a few times a week” over a several-month period (and while she doesn’t mention this part, all this is going on during a pandemic quarantine over the summer, too! Just saying!!!).
She even alleged Carl sent her a text message on his wife Laura‘s birthday on October 12, saying he “didn’t know how to stop” their relationship and repair things in his marriage. By then, of course, the damage had been done — and the world was about to find out about Carl’s “moral failures” through his Hillsong job.
At one point, watching the whole thing blow up behind the scenes, Ranin recalled how she tried to push Carl away, saying:
“I told him, ‘I wish I never met you at the park.’ I would tell him I want nothing to do with him but he would keep coming back despite me telling him to leave me alone. Every time I said I’m done, he would come back and pursue me. He was always the one who pursued me, and every time he messaged or called me and I didn’t answer, he would send even more messages and he would go crazy. He would tell me I was a dream to him. He told me on the first day we met that I was everything he ever wanted in a woman.”
And again, the designer was adamant to note their relationship was much more than sexual. She told the outlet they “would write novels to each other” when they weren’t together, eventually creating “a delusional relationship” in the process.
…How It Ended
The ill-fated relationship “took an explosive turn” in late October when Carl’s wife apparently saw all of their messages, including “naughty photos,” via an accidental connection to his work computer at the church office. Several other Hillsong co-workers were allegedly present at the time of the discovery, as well. YIKES!!!
And once the affair was exposed, the dominoes fell from there, including Lentz losing his high-profile job.
But things didn’t quite wrap up so simply after all. The next night, Lentz allegedly insisted on “saying goodbye in person,” and came over to Ranin’s place, where she alleges they were intimate once again.
Furthermore, she recalled his apparent emotions that night:
“He sat on my bed and kept repeating ‘My life is over. I’m going to lose my job. I don’t know if my wife is ever going to forgive me.’ I told him that he’s living a lie and he will always be a liar. I told him he’s a selfish human being and a narcissist. But he assured me that he will always have love for me and everything he told me while we were together about his feelings for me was true and he hopes one day I can forgive him for all the pain he caused me. He told me that what we had, he had never had with anyone before. He said he had never had a deep, sexual connection like what we had. And he had never loved anyone outside of his marriage until me. He told me it was crazy that he lived these two lives, and he still doesn’t know how he was able to do that.”
Intense!!! Ultimately, Ranin claims she did not “officially say goodbye” to Lentz until this past Thursday. She further noted they were “both beautiful, broken people who found each other and collided,” but who also “need help.” Yeah…
Lentz has been married to Laura for 17 years. They met as students at Hillsong’s training academy in Australia before moving together to NYC in 2010 to spread the gospel. They now live in Montclair, New Jersey with their three children.
In a statement published last week, the disgraced pastor noted he was “building back trust in his marriage.”
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