Christian comedian John Crist “wanted to commit suicide” after he found himself in rehab amid a sexual harassment scandal that left him embarrassed, beside himself, and planning to leave comedy forever.
“I’ve been through a lot the last two years of my life,” Crist said during a recent comedy show. “I’ve been through a lot of embarrassing things.”
The comedian, who fluctuated between making the audience laugh and speaking about the severe nature of his 2019 scandal, admitted “there’s a lot of shame surrounding sex” and revealed where that shame took him.
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“I wanted to commit suicide,” he said. “I was in rehab for four months.”
At the time, Crist stepped away from comedy and believed he’d never tell jokes again. He said he wouldn’t wish the situation on his worst enemy but that he learned some valuable lessons about faith, redemption, and a loving God.
“The only thing worse is if that had never happened to me,” he said.
Before the scandal, Crist said he always lived with a cloud over his head.
“Every time I had like a sold-out show or anything I did on television … I thought that if everybody knew the truth about me that all of these people would hate me,” he said, noting, though, that he discovered true grace while working to overcome his challenges.
Crist added, “In that whole rehabilitation process, I found out there’s a God that loves you, and He cares about you, and He’s not mad at you.”
Watch Crist tell his story:
The comedian also recalled a touching moment after he left rehab. He found himself wearing a hood and sunglasses inside of a Five Guys restaurant, hoping no one would recognize him. Suddenly, a family called him over to chat. While Crist worried they would scold him, something incredible happened.
“[They said], ‘We just want to let you know that we love you and we care about you and we’ve been thinking about you,'” Crist recalled. “It was the first time in my life that people knew everything about me, and they still chose to love me.”
The comedian, who was thankful for that experience, also credited his fans for helping save his life.
“The people that are out here that bought tickets to my show saved my life in a lot of ways,” he said.
Watch his comments here.
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