The alleged mistress of ousted Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz has been pictured for the first time since news of their bombshell affair was revealed.
Ranin Karim, 34, stepped out in New York City on Saturday morning, one week after 42-year-old Lentz confirmed he had an illicit relationship.
Photographs obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com show fashion designer Karim cutting a chic figure as she walked her small dog in the same city where she reportedly met Lentz back in May.
Karim says she found out Lentz was married soon after a chance meeting at Brooklyn’s Domino Park, but she carried on with their burgeoning relationship because he was ‘like a drug’ to her.
Over the last week, she has given multiple interviews describing their ‘deep, sexual’ connection which involved him going to her home to drink ‘so much’ tequila, FaceTiming when they weren’t together and arguing.
Lentz – who has been married to his Australian-born wife, Laura, for 17 years – has since been fired from Hillsong.
Laura, who also works as a leader with megachurch, has similarly been booted from the organization.
The Lentzs share three children together and appear to be working on their relationship.
Ranin Karim – the alleged mistress of ousted Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz – has been pictured for the first time since news of their bombshell affair was revealed
Lentz has been married to his Australian-born wife, Laura, for 17 years. The couple – who are pictured together in a recent social media snap – have now both been booted from Hillsong, which is now conducting an investigation into its own culture
Karim’s outing comes just one day after Hillsong appointed a New York City legal firm to conduct an ‘in-depth review’ into its culture after a ‘number of people came forward’ with concerns, following the revelation of Lentz’s infidelities.
In a statement to DailyMail.com on Friday, the church said: ‘Since last week’s announcement of a leadership change at Hillsong East Coast, we have heard from a number of people about their experiences and concerns.
‘It is important that we establish the truth and then do everything we can to ensure our church is both a safe place and one that seeks to glorify God in all that we say and do.
‘For this reason we have decided to appoint a New York based legal firm that is not associated or affiliated with Hillsong to conduct an in-depth review and investigation into all concerns and any wider cultural issues.
‘We are taking this extremely seriously and on the basis of this report, we will be better positioned to take whatever actions are deemed necessary to right the wrongs and see Hillsong East Coast move forward in a way that enables many more people to find hope in Jesus.’
Photographs obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com show fashion designer Karim cutting a chic figure as she walked her small dog in the same city where she reportedly met Lentz back in May
Karim says she found out Lentz was married soon after they met in Brooklyn’s Domino Park back in May. She claims she carried on with their burgeoning relationship because he was ‘like a drug’ to her
Carl and Laura Lentz have been married since 2003 and shared three children together. Laura has not commented publicly on her husband’s infidelity
Carl and Laura Lentz have both been booted from the Hillsong church. They are believed to be working on their marriage
After news of Carl’s affair emerged this week, Hailey unfollowed both Carl and Laura on Instagram. Justin followed suit and now the Lentz’s have unfollowed them too.
While the Biebers were their most famous friends, Carl and Laura have mingled with countless celebrities over the years after being introduced to them through the church. He’s been seen with the Kardashians, Drake, Vanessa Hudgens, and various NBA stars.
Lentz grew up in Virginia then went to Australia after graduating high school. That is where he was introduced to Hillsong and met its founder, Brian Houston.
In 2003, he returned to the US with Laura to set up Hillsong in New York City.
It has since grown, under his leadership and with the help of Brian’s son Joel, into a celebrity-mecca. Lentz’s salary is not listed anywhere in the company’s most recent annual reports.
In 2019, Hillsong East Coast – which he is in charge of – brought in $12.7million in revenue and more than a quarter of that – $3.87million – went on staff salaries.
He and Laura, and their kids, live in a $1.5million, five-bedroom home in Montclair, New Jersey, where the church is registered.
They have also been listed on the deed for a $2million apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the past.
Details of exactly how much they are paid or if any of their living expenses are counted as church expenses is unclear.
Hillsong is registered as a company in Australia, where it began. According to the most recent Australian annual report, the church took in $95.9million AUD in revenue, around $70million USD, and spent $21million AUD ($15m USD), including $6m AUD ($4m USD) in staff salaries.
The Lentz family lived in this $1.5million home in Montclair, New Jersey, near the Hillsong church there. They sold it last week before the scandal emerged
Lentz, who is close friends with Justin Bieber (pictured in 2017) and even baptized the popstar in 2014, made his confession one day after he was sensationally sacked by Hillsong’s founder
Hillsong East Coast, which the Lentzs were in charge of, also produced an annual report last year.
The East Coast branch brought in $12.7million in revenue, $3.87million of that which went on staff salaries.
It is unclear exactly how much of that money went to the Lentzs.
The pair both favor trendy, expensive clothing. When they were spotted having what looked like crisis talks this week outside Justin Bieber’s apartment, Laura was wearing a $200 pair of Alexander Wang sweatpants.
Carl has been seen in the past wearing a $37,000 Gold Rolex. He was riding a $2,000 electrical bike last week.
Neither Lentz nor the church has revealed what will happen now. Laura has not spoken since the scandal erupted last week.
In their statement, Brian and Bobbie Houston – the founders – said they were ‘saddened’ to let the pair go.
‘We thank Pastors Carl and Laura for the way they have served faithfully and sacrificially since the start of Hillsong NYC and for contributing so significantly to the countless lives that have been transformed for Jesus Christ through this ministry.
‘They have a heart for people and we are confident that after a time of rest and restoration, God will use Carl in another way outside of Hillsong church. In terminating his tenure, we in no way want to diminish the good work he did here.
‘This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.
‘It would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. Our focus at this time is to honor God and pastorally care for our East Coast church community as well as the Lentz family.’
‘While I have no doubt that this is the right course of action, I must mention Bobbie’s and my personal sadness, as we have known Laura her entire life and Carl for well over 20 years,’ Brian said.
The statement from the Houstons was the first sign of trouble.
Carl then took to Instagram the following day to give more information.
‘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,’ he said.
Karim, 34, came forward next. She first spoke to The Sun to say she was hurt by her lover’s Instagram message. She said he’d posed as a single sports agent when they first met, then revealed to her later that he was married with three kids.
She has since spoken to The New York Post, saying he was like a ‘drug’ to her, as she was to him.
It also emerged that Laura found out about the affair because Carl had synced his iPhone messages to his iCloud. She discovered messages from Karim to him on his work computer while in the Hillsong offices, surrounded by co-workers.
Karim says she now believes she is not the only woman he was unfaithful with. She wants others to come forward.