Pastor John Gray set the record straight on the daytime talk show “The Real” on Monday with his wife, Aventer, rejecting rumors that he was unfaithful to his wife but admitting he had an "emotional affair" with someone.
Co-host Adrienne Bailon asked Gray directly if he stepped out of his marriage and had an affair.
"The answer is no, I didn't," Gray responded. His wife, who sat next to him, immediately applauded.
Gray recently became pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, after years of preaching at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He had come under much criticism for gifting his wife with a $200,000 Lamborghini for their eight-year anniversary just months after he confessed to listening to “voices” that lured him away and almost caused the couple to get a divorce.
He explained on Monday, "Over a year ago, my wife and I were in a very difficult place in our marriage, and in that time, I began to converse with someone — other than a counselor, other than a pastoral leader, which is where I should have taken my issues and challenges — and began to converse, and I was even in the presence of that person one time. But being in the presence of someone is not the same as sleeping with them. I did not sleep with anyone."
The charismatic minister said “it was wrong” and is taking responsibility for sharing things about his marriage with anyone other than his wife or counselor. He also went on to address rumors of an alleged love child.
"There's no baby, none of that," he said. "It's important for me to take responsibility for the areas where I did come up short. Sharing things about my marriage, outside of my wife and outside of trusted counselors, is an emotional affair. It was wrong. I take responsibility for that. But I will not take responsibility for that which I did not do."
Last summer, Gray opened up to his church, explaining that for about two years he and his wife had been contemplating divorce. Aventer also addressed the congregation explaining why she chose not to leave her husband despite his unspecified actions. The wife later alluded to a "strange woman," sparking rumors.
"People act like this is something brand new," Gray told “The Real” host. "But we've walked through this. We have peace. But people don't."
Then in January, Gray told his congregation that the only children he had were the two with his wife. A spokesperson for Gray confirmed to The Christian Post that "officially, Pastor John was speaking on the topic of an alleged child outside of his marriage” during that sermon.
“He does not have one," the church told CP of the claimed lovechild.
While on "The Real," Gray also defended his lavish gift to his wife and addressed his controversial visit with President Donald Trump at the White House.
He assured that "not one cent" of his church's money was used for the purchase of the Lamborghini and that it all came from his personal life savings. He gave the gift after they dealt with significant health challenges and realized that "nothing is promised."
Aventer Gray noted that their journey as a couple began over their connection over music, love for people, love for God and cars. She also recognized why many who don't know the couple would be surprised and confused by the gift.