‘Tequila-fuelled sex’: Hillsong mistress bares all
Exclusive: The mistress of former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz has told how she believes he used their affair to subconsciously jeopardise his marriage and career telling her when he was fired from the megachurch, "I'm finally free now."
Fashion designer Ranin Karim says the man who baptised Justin Bieber was looking for an escape out of his "boring" 17-year marriage and is deeply regretful for the hurt she brought to his Sydney-born wife Laura and their three children.
"When I found out he was married, I told him repeatedly 'go back to your wife, go back to your family,' but he kept turning up in the lobby of my apartment block with bottles of Clase Azul tequila for us to drink," she told The Daily Telegraph.
"He said the sex we had was the best he's ever had in his life and he couldn't stop being with me."
"I never wanted a married man. I went on other dates to try to forget him and he said he had counselling to break the spell of me and be cured but it didn't work."
"It's right he got fired, but it's not fair that Laura got sacked too, he told me they came as a package to church, if he went she went, she's just a victim in this, I feel terrible for her and the kids, I wish I had never met him."
The two embarked on a torrid five month affair beginning when he chatted her up in Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York and ending abruptly last week when his wife found a series of text messages on his iphone and home computer link to his iCloud.
He was fired by Hillsong boss Brian Houston who has ordered an investigation into the church.
"It's a love story that happened at a time when we were in a weird COVID capacity, we found comfort in each other, he was not on stage and was craving attention and found me," she said.
"I look back now and I think he was going through a midlife crisis, I wonder if it's just me he was unfaithful with?"
"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. He'd say 'do the math, I've been with Laura since I was 21,' he hadn't lived life and I was exciting to him."
"As soon as I found out he was married I broke it off and he sent me really polite nice texts saying 'okay I was really happy to meet you and enjoyed talking to you, we understand each other.' He'd FaceTime me and write poetry in his texts, he had a really good way with words.
He said I was like fire and Laura is a nice person and calm."
"He would come to my apartment three times a week with Tequila in his backpack so people wouldn't see him with it in the street. He risked coming to my apartment, he was reckless."
"I'm not a hooker, I'm someone who genuinely fell for a guy time who thought he loved her. I still miss him and wish I could give him a hug."
Celebrity pastor Lentz, 42, told her he training for a photo shoot that would feature him on cover of Mens Health magazine and was filming a movie with Virginia Beach celebrities including Pharrell Williams.
"He would brag about his BMW and said he came from nothing and brag about how he was friends with Bieber and Kim Kardashian, I'd say to him 'who cares, she's trash?' I felt he wanted to be a celebrity too," she said.
The Egyptian and Palestinian actress says Hillsong is "a joke" and welcomed the investigation into the inner operations of Hillsong NYC, where Lentz worked as lead pastor.
The day his wife and the church found out about the affair she contacted him and he replied "don't text me today, it's difficult."
When he was fired Karim asked if she could have his new number as the church would take back his mobile phone and he replied, "it's too dangerous", she said.
"We did speak briefly and told me 'I'm free now, but my life is a mess, I've lost my job and I'm going to have to rebuild my marriage, I took vows in the eyes of the church and I have to stick to them'."
"So, what, he's gonna rebuild his marriage now he's been found out? "This really hurts me," she said.
"He told me he would never leave his wife to give me what I want. I never wanted him, never knew who he was but this is the man with the biggest ego, the man he preaches that one shouldn't have an ego and yet he is bragging about celebrities and having sex behind his wife's back, Hillsong is a joke, its a cult they silence anyone who speaks out, it's good and time that Hillsong investigated what goes on behind its doors. I don't believe it is an independent investigation that even though they've hired lawyers, what church is going to want to bring itself down?"
"I'm still waiting for Laura to contact me, she hasn't even though she knows I had an affair with her man. I'd say I'm 'sorry, life is complicated and shit happened but I never intended to hurt you'."
"If I could erase the five months I had with Carl, I would, he brought nothing to my life, it was a waste of breath. I think he was looking to destroy his life but didn't know it at the time."
Originally published as 'Tequila-fuelled sex': Carl Lentz's mistress bares all