Christian comedian John Crist spoke out on social media Wednesday for the first time in eight months, acknowledging the “hurt” and “embarrassment” he caused others.
“The biggest hypocrite in all this was me,” a pensive Crist said in a four-minute Instagram video.
It was his first post on the platform since November, when Charisma posted a story alleging he had been involved in sexting and sexual harassment. Crist, in a November statement, admitted to “sexual sin and addiction struggles.” Charisma story broke just as Crist was embarking on a nationwide tour and shortly after Netflix launched a special featuring his comedy. The tour was canceled, and Netflix pulled the show.
Crist, in the new video, said he was “incredibly humbled to receive” support the past few months that was “certainly undeserved based on decisions that I made in my personal life.”
“I made a lot of poor choices in my personal life. ... I made a lot of decisions that hurt myself, that hurt other people, and embarrassed myself and had consequences,” he said. “I can look you in the eye and own that. … Those decisions were mine and no one else's and no one else is to be blamed. … I made those choices. … I had a problem, and I needed to get some help.”
“... The most embarrassing part of this whole thing is that the biggest hypocrite in all this was me – that I was portraying a person on the internet that I was not behaving like privately,” he said.
Crist said he was tempted to post humorous content during the past eight months but realized he needed to “fix the broken pieces of myself.”
“If I can look you in the eye and tell you that I'm part of the problem [and] that I could also be a part of the solution … I think that's what I'd like to be,” he said.
Crist thanked fans for their support.
“Thank you,” he said. “... I was in a treatment facility for four months and I was away from my phone and everything,” he said. “And my sister would just send me letters from people that have reached out to me … wishing for my restoration and healing.”
Crist said he “assumed that 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.”
“And I felt nothing but the opposite throughout this whole process,” he said. “Let me just say how hopeful and encouraging that was to be working on my own mental health and my recovery and healing and to have a bunch of people rooting for me and support[ing] me – it meant the world.
“... I'm grateful that you guys have been on this journey with me, and I can't wait for the future. I'll see you soon.”
The video received more than 300,000 views in four hours. Most comments were supportive.
“His mercies are new every morning,” one person wrote. “... May you walk in His love, know His love, and be faithful in sharing it on this side of redemption!”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Davis/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.