Carl Lentz is back on social media nearly 2 years after being accused of sexual abuse and admitting to being unfaithful in his marriage.
The disgraced pastor returned to Instagram on Wednesday to share his first post on the platform since he got booted from Hillsong Church in November 2020. As you may recall, Carl was fired from the controversial megachurch after news broke of him cheating on his wife, Laura Lentz. He took “full responsibility” for the affair one day after his firing, saying:
“When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need.”
While Carl did not mention who his mistress was at the time, a woman named Ranin Karim soon came forward in an interview with Vanity Fair. A month later, a report then came out from People revealing that the 43-year-old was seeking help “at an outpatient facility that specializes in depression, anxiety and pastoral burnout.” But his cheating scandal wasn’t the only misdeed he’s been accused of over the years…
He may have taken responsibility for cheating, but since then, Carl has faced allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse, including from his former nanny Leona Kimes who opened up about the horrors she dealt with in an essay for Medium in 2021. She claimed that she was “subjected to manipulation, control, bullying, abuse of power, and sexual abuse” for seven years in his and Laura’s home, adding:
“While he never had intercourse with me and never kissed me, I was physically violated by his unwanted and repeated sexual touching of my intimate areas. I froze. Every time, I froze.”
However, the couple fired back at the accusations, saying they “vehemently deny the allegations and, in addition to that, have irrefutable proof the events did not happen as they are being described.”
Carl wasn’t the only one — Hillsong came under fire as “a breeding ground of unchecked abuse.”
Throughout this controversy, Carl has pretty much laid low while Laura has continued to sporadically post on the ‘gram. But now, it looks like Carl is back on social media to show everyone that his family is still “together” after everything that’s come out over the past couple of years. He hopped on the platform with a bizarre series of black-and-white pictures featuring him, Laura, and their children: Ava, Roman, and Charlie.
The family portraits almost look like Calvin Klein ads. Carl wrote in the caption of the carousel:
“Its been a challenging road but we are alive, we are at peace and thanks to the grace of God we are TOGETHER. Not sure what the future holds for us, but we do know that we face it as a family and for that I am so thankful. My deepest thanks to our friends and family that have shown us such unconditional love and grace when we have desperately needed it. Forever grateful.. we are hopeful about what is ahead!”
He wasn’t the only one to speak out…
Laura then echoed a similar sentiment when sharing one of the snapshots on her own Instagram, acknowledging that “it’s taken A LOT of work” to get her relationship with Carl to where it is today:
“Yep, it has been challenging and hell yeah it’s taken a LOT of work the past 22 months (but who’s counting) to make our marriage what it has become, & we will never stop working on ourselves, for this marriage and for our kids! I know there are many that don’t or would never do what I chose to do, and that’s ok, it’s not for everyone!! I look forward to sharing our story, how I came to that conclusion and I think it’s going to help a lot of people..”
“But I am so proud of my husband & for the responsibility he’s taken! Mostly I’m grateful for a man who humbled himself & didn’t try to defend himself, he has kept quiet publically and he has remained focused on the one thing that matters most-our family!
So… we guess they’re all good now? And they expect us to be all good with them? Frankly we’d be a lot happier if they answered the sexual abuse allegations and also spilled everything they knew about any abuses going on within Hillsong… but we guess that’s too much to ask.
It sounds like we’ll be hearing a lot more from Carl and the Lentz family following his return to Instagram. Reactions, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments (below).