Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest Christian broadcasting network, rejected the recent allegations of a “homosexual encounter” between its founder and a former employee, Sept 14, 2004. The statement, released on behalf of televangelist Paul Crouch, was written in response to a Los Angeles Times article that said Crouch waged a “fierce legal battle to prevent publicizing allegations” that he had a sexual encounter eight years ago.
“The accuser is a convicted felon and longtime drug abuser who has been imprisoned for years for serious crimes ranging from child sexual molestation to using illegal drugs such as crack cocaine. The accuser became involved with TBN through a drug rehabilitation program conducted on TBN's property. Upon his successful completion of the program, TBN gave him a chance by offering him employment,” the TBN released.
The allegations against Crouch were made by Enoch Lonnie Ford, a former employee of TBN. According to the TBN, Ford was “arrested for yet another drug related violation” and was “returned to prison for a year.” After his release, Ford “sought employment with the TBN, which declined his plea.
“When TBN declined, he threatened to sue TBN by alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment, directing his most salacious allegations towards Dr. Crouch personally,” TBN wrote.
According to LA times, Ford claimed “that he had been unjustly fired” and subsequently “Crouch reached a $425,000 settlement with him. In return, Ford agreed, among other things, not to discuss his claim about a sexual encounter with the TV preacher.”
However, despite the settlement, Ford wrote a “manuscript” of his life, including an explicit scene of the “alleged encounter” with Crouch. Ford’s lawyer later told ministry officials that they could keep the work out of the public by “buying the rights” for $10 million dollars.
Crouch then sued to enforce the 1998 secrecy agreement and obtained a restraining order barring his accuser from seeking a publisher for his book. Crouch’s request was granted, and the document was sealed and kept away from public court records.
According to the TBN, Crouch “fought the accuser in [private] court where the accuser and his false claim were soundly defeated.”
Conclusively, the TBN exclaimed that “It is a reprehensible fact of modern life that public persons like Dr. Crouch are targets of such dishonest, false and scandalous claims. The lifelong ministry of Dr. Crouch has been to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. The good works of TBN are what define Dr. Crouch and it is this work that will continue to define him. As such, Dr. Crouch will continue to respond to God's call on his life as president of TBN, bringing to bear his own personality, integrity, enthusiasm and talent.”
Wrote TBN: “We request that all of TBN's partners and supporters pray for Paul and Jan as they weather yet another attack on their ministry and personal lives. This storm will pass and as the scriptures most aptly proclaim, "Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)”