Who is Leona Kimes? Fired Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Denies Former Nanny's Sexual Abuse Claims

Fired Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Denies His Former Nanny Leona Kimes' Sexual Abuse Claims

Fired pastor Carl Lentz has denied sexual abuse allegations made by his former nanny Leona Kimes. Seven months after being fired from the megachurch Hillsong, Lentz has denied the claims. Leona Kimes claims she was manipulated, controlled, bullied, and sexually abused in Lentz's home over seven years.

In an essay titled "Writing My Voice Back" on Medium published by Kimes on Monday, she has made accusations against the former Hillsong pastor. While Lentz's name isn't mentioned in the published essay, Kimes has confirmed to Religion News Service her accusations are about him.

"I was physically violated by his unwanted and repeated sexual touching of my intimate areas. I froze. Every time, I froze," Leona Kimes revealed in her essay about Carl Lentz, who she previously worked for.

Carl Lentz
Fired Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz Web Screen grab

Leona Kimes, 37, told Religion News Service via email Sunday (May 30) that she felt trapped and silenced. She also felt ashamed and was asked not to say anything or tell anyone about her situation.

Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Extra Marital Affair

The former Hillsong pastor Lentz was fired in November for "moral failings." He later admitted to an adulterous affair following which a Brooklyn jewelry designer, Ranin Karim, opened up about her relationship with Lentz on "Good Morning America."

Soon after, Brian Houston called Lentz "a narcissist," and suggested the affair was not Lentz's only transgression.

Lentz, 42, had established Hillsong's Manhattan church with the Houstons' son Joel. The scandal has caused turmoil in the global church founded in the 1980s by Brian and Bobbie Houston in Australia, now 130 locations spread across the world.

Who is Leona Kimes?

Leona Kimes was a former Hillsong NYC staff member who has made sex abuse allegations against Carl Lentz. She had previously worked as a nanny for the disgraced pastor and his family. She claimed that she had experienced a great deal of pain while rendering her service at Lentz's home.

The church fired Kimes from her nanny role in the summer of 2017 after she told Lentz she wanted to leave the job.

Kimes started working at the Lentzes' home as a nanny and housekeeper in 2011. She revealed that she used to spend 19 hours a day at Carl Lentz's home.

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