Ranin Karim is telling her side of the story.
On Friday’s “Good Morning America”, Karim appeared, opening up about her alleged affair with Carl Letz, the former pastor of Hillsong Church, which had a global following, including celebs like Justin Bieber.
“I still cherish what we had,” Karim said of her relationship with Lentz. “It was always gonna be part of my past. I wish I can just like, delete it, but you can’t.”
Lentz was fired by the church earlier this month, and Karim said that her relationship with the pastor began five months ago in New York, when they first met at a park near her home. Lentz began five months ago when they first met at a park near her New York City home.
“He was like, ‘You know, I work with celebrities… I manage celebrities, and I travel with them,'” Karim recalled. “He didn’t want to say what he does.”
She eventually found out who he really was after doing a search online.
“I was, like, ‘Are you married?,’ and he said, ‘I am,'” she explained. “But he doesn’t wear a ring. You never ever see him wearing a ring.”
She added, “I was like it’s all good. I was married before, and I didn’t want to judge him. I like to meet people, and feel like they’re a blank canvas, you know?”
Karim also described what happened after Lentz’s wife learned of the affair in October.
“He called me at midnight and he said… ‘My wife found out. And I gotta go. She saw the text messages,’” she said. “I was devastated.”
Lentz addressed the affair in an Instagram post following his firing.
“I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that,” he wrote. “This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now must begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife Laura and my children and taking time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need.”
He added, “I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving.”
Karim said she thinks Lentz’s rising celebrity status may have contributed to his actions.
“When you give somebody so much power, they become God to people, and I think people forgot the concept of religion and beliefs,” she said. “I think that people look at Carl like he is God to them.”
She added of his wife, “I feel bad for her. Woman to woman, I don’t think she deserved to be hurt the way that she did, and I never meant to hurt her.”