Popular Christian comedian John Crist has re-emerged on social media eight months after being embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal. The 36-year-old, who had not uploaded anything on Instagram since 3rd November, posted a video Wednesday revealing that he had spent the extended period of time working on his personal issues, including a four-month stay in a "treatment facility".
Last year, a Charisma News investigation revealed allegations of sexual misconduct against Crist involving female fans, many of whom were married. As per the report, the allegations included "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 favours and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk".
In a statement issued after the news broke, Crist said he had "treated relationships with women far too casually" and that his behaviour had been "destructive and sinful".
"I've sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most," he said at the time. "I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process."
The scandal resulted in the axing of Crist's live tour and the cancellation of his Netflix comedy special, which was set for release on Thanksgiving Day.
In his latest video, the comedian said he had been bowled over by the support he'd received during the past months.
"I'm incredibly humbled to receive that support. It is certainly undeserved based on decisions I made in my personal life," he explained. "I had assumed I lived in a community of people that would be the first to look down on me and judge me and point fingers at me, but I felt nothing but the opposite."
He went on: "I want to say that I made a lot of poor choices in my personal life. I made a lot of decisions that hurt myself and other people and embarrassed myself and had consequences. I can look you in the eye and own that."
Crist said that he initially wanted to "hop on the internet, justify and rationalise and minimise...and kind of explain and defend myself". However, now, he said, having come through a process of "healing and recovery", the comedian said he realises that he was personally responsible for those poor decisions. "Those choices were on me," he said. "Those decisions were mine and no one else is to be blamed. I point the finger at no one else but myself. I had a problem and I needed to get some help. That's what I've been doing for the last eight months, and that's what I'll continue to do...to put a priority on my own mental health."
Crist concluded: "Perhaps the most embarrassing part is that all my comedy videos were pointing out the hypocrisy in some way...and the most embarrassing part of this whole thing is the biggest hypocrite was me.
"I was portraying a person on the internet that I was not behaving like privately. That's on me. If I can look you in the eye and tell you I'm part of the problem, then I can also be a part of the solution."
You can watch the full video below: