Carl Lentz calls abuse allegations ‘categorically false’ in new Hillsong documentary

by | May 19, 2023 | Religion

NEW YORK (RNS) — For the Hillsong lovers, Hillsong haters and those who love to hate Hillsong, the latest documentary treatment of the global megachurch’s descent into scandal is here and available to stream beginning Friday (May 19).“The Secrets of Hillsong,” a four-part series that will air on FX and Hulu, purports to be the first time Carl Lentz, the fallen celebrity pastor, one-time “hype priest” and former spiritual mentor of Justin Bieber, has spoken publicly about allegations that he had sexual affairs, including allegations of sexual abuse toward his family’s nanny, Leona Kimes, though pieces of his personal defense have been leaking out in news stories and Instagram posts since Lentz was fired in November of 2020.
In the new docuseries, produced in partnership with Vanity Fair and based on their early reporting of scandals at Hillsong’s Manhattan branch, Lentz reportedly acknowledges a power dynamic at play in his relationship with Kimes but denies his behavior was abusive and suggested the relationship was consensual.

“Any notion of abuse is categorically false,” he claimed in the documentary, according to a preview of the first two episodes from People magazine, though he seems to admit to being reckless and hurtful. “There were mutual adult decisions made by two people who lied profusely, mainly to my wife.” 
Carl Lentz in the FX documentary “The Secrets of Hillsong.” Photo © FX Networks
“A minister is no less a helping professional than a therapist, or a social worker, or a nurse or a doctor, and all tho …

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