John Crist, a Christian comedian, YouTube star and ex-boyfriend of singer Lauren Alaina, has issued an apology in response to allegations of sexual misconduct.
Charisma News reported on Wednesday that "Crist has exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women over the last seven years. The allegations include, but are not limited to, individually sexting multiple women during the same time period, initiating sexual relationships with married women and women in committed relationships, offering show tickets in exchange for sexual favors and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk."
"Over the past number of years, various women have accused me of behavior that has been hurtful to them," Crist, 35, said in a statement to E! News. "While I am not guilty of everything I've been accused of, I confess to being guilty of this—I have treated relationships with women far too casually, in some cases even recklessly."
"My behavior has been destructive and sinful," he said. "I've sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most. I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process. I am sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused these women and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I have also hurt the name of Jesus and have sought His forgiveness."
He continued, "Over several recent years, I have privately sought and received regular professional treatment for my sexual sin and addiction struggles. I'm committed to getting healing and freedom from my sin and have decided to cancel my remaining tour dates this year and to postpone all future commitments in order to devote all my time and energy on getting healthy spiritually, mentally and physically."
Crist said that his family, team and close friends have known about "this battle" for "some time."
"I'm ashamed of my behavior and I'm so sorry for hurting so many people," he said. "I don't blame anyone but myself. I'm responsible for my actions and I've repented and am taking full ownership. I realize it will be difficult for some people to ever forgive me, and I accept that as a result of my bad decisions and actions."
"My entire career has been lived out on stage, and even though I've shared many of my life struggles with my audiences, I've lived in constant fear of the darkest parts of my life being exposed publicly," he continued. "My greatest fear has been that those who have loved and supported me would hate me if they knew everything about me. I now humbly seek forgiveness and mercy and love—not just for me, but for those I've hurt along my path. I'm so sorry."
Crist began his comedy career a decade ago and has opened for the likes of Jeff Foxworthy and Dave Chappelle. He started dating Alaina earlier this year. In September, just before she made her debut as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, the 24-year-old country singer revealed on The Bobby Bones Show that the two had split.
"We were like, best friends before we dated, and we're still best friends," Alaina said. "It just didn't work out. I guess that's how dating goes, right?"
She has not commented on the allegations made against Crist or his statement.
Crist's Netflix special John Crist: I Ain't Prayin for That was set to be released on Thanksgiving. E! News learned on Thursday that the launch is on hold. Netflix has not commented.