Who is Ranin Karim? A look at celebrity pastor Carl Lentz’s 'consensual' affair with mistress that got him fired
'I still cherish what we had,' Ranin Karim said about her romantic engagement with Carl Lentz. 'It was always gonna be part of my past. I wish I can just like, delete it, but you can’t'
Celebrity pastor Carl Lentz’s former mistress Ranin Karim opened up about the “consensual affair” that the couple had that led to the firing of the pastor from his job. The woman who spoke at a ‘Good Morning America' interview on November 20 spoke about how she met the New York City megachurch pastor. She also mentioned how she found who he really was and what happened when pastor Carl’s wife Laura got to know about the affair.
“I still cherish what we had,” Ranin Karim told ABC News' Amy Robach about her romantic engagement with Carl Lentz. “It was always gonna be part of my past. I wish I can just like, delete it, but you can’t.”
Carl became a high-profile pastor during his service at Hillsong Church, which was once frequented by celebrities like Justin Bieber, Chris Pratt, and Vanessa Hudgens. However, Carl was fired from Hillsong Church in NYC earlier on November 4 over reasons cited as "leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures”. The exact reason for what comes under moral failures is unknown. However, Carl later revealed in an Instagram post that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Laura.
Now as Carl’s mistress has come out in the open revealing she had a consensual affair with him and reports suggest the affair led to the pastor’s firing, here we shed some light on who she is and the affair.
Who is Ranin Karim?
Ranin Karim is a 34-year-old designer of accessories and fashion living in Brooklyn, New York, but originally hails from Palestine. She was reportedly married and divorced prior to meeting Hillsong’s Carl in May of this year. She reportedly said that she tried to break up with pastor Carl many times, but he kept pursuing her. However, she later decided to come out in the open and reveal the affair, People reported. As the woman has grabbed headlines in the past here we shed some light on her affair with Carl.
Pastor Carl Lentz and Ranin Karim’s affair
In the interview, Karim said her love story with Carl began five months ago around June when she and Carl met at a park near her New York City home. The pair’s meetings became a regular thing, however, Carl refused to tell Karim his last name and about his job. As per reports, Carl also asked her not to search him up on Google. He saved her phone number in the notes app of his phone, rather than the contact list, as per Karim.
Karim said in the interview, “He was like, ‘You know, I work with celebrities … I manage celebrities, and I travel with them,'" Karim recalled. "He didn’t want to say what he does." However, Karim later found that Carl worked as a pastor at Hillsong, which was founded in Australia in 1983 and had nearly 150,000 members across the globe.
After finding about his job, Karim asked Carl about his marriage. "I was, like, 'Are you married?,' and he said, 'I am,'" said Karim. "But he doesn't wear a ring. You never ever see him wearing a ring."
After knowing that Carl was married Karim still stayed in touch with him as she did not "want to judge him." "I was like it's all good. I was married before, and I didn't want to judge him," she said. "I like to meet people, and feel like they're a blank canvas, you know?" She added, "You get to know them, and you let them paint their warm colors on it," Karim said. "You don't go and just stick or put stickers on people and think they're going to be that, and going to be this, and I didn't want to do that to him, because I don't want to judge him."
Karim then mentioned her connection with Carl which she said is "hard to explain in words." She stated what happened when Laura found out about her husband’s affair in October 2020. “He called me at midnight and he said ... 'My wife find out. And I gotta go. She saw the text messages,’” said Karim. “I was devastated.”
On November 4 another development happened in the affair story of Carl and Karim. This came as Hillsong Church’s global senior pastor Brian Houston released a statement on the church's website firing Carl from pastor service. “This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interest of everyone, including Pastor Carl,” Houston wrote. “The action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
Later Carl mentioned his firing and how he was unfaithful in marriage to wife Laura in a long Instagram post on November 6. “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. I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process,” Carl wrote.
Karim mentioned in the interview that she did not mean to hurt Laura and wants to move forward leaving behind the past. “I feel bad for her,” Karim said. “Woman to woman, I don’t think she deserved to be hurt the way that she did, and I never meant to hurt her. I know people [are] gonna hate me, think whatever they want to think, but at the end of the day, it’s my story,” she said. “I wanted to free myself of what people think of me.”
Until now, Carl has not identified the woman with whom he had an affair. However, reports show that the pastor and his wife Laura are dealing with the aftermath of his affair as reported by The People.