After more than an eight-month-long break from social media, John Crist has returned.
This past fall, the Christian comedian and YouTuber both apologized and took a hiatus from engaging on social media after he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
In a video shared Wednesday, Crist, 36, returned to Instagram and Facebook and revealed that he has been "working on my own mental health and my recovery and healing," including a four-month stint at a treatment facility.
"What's up everybody? John Crist here. Hi. It has been over eight months since I posted anything on the internet and for a guy who used to post content literally every single day, that just felt like forever. Let me say first and foremost, thank you for all the love and care and support that you guys have shown me. It has meant the world. I don't know how else to say it. Not necessarily support for choices I made in my personal life, but support for me as a human being and as a person has meant the world," he began.
"I was in a treatment facility for four months and I was away from my phone and everything and my sister would just send me letters from people that had reached out to me or sent a letter to our office, our website, people caring for me and concerned about me, praying for me, wishing for my restoration and healing. Incredibly humbled to receive that support. Certainly, certainly undeserved based on decisions that I made in my personal life, but incredibly humbling to receive. So let me just say thank you first of all," said Crist.
Though Crist had assumed that he would be judged by people in his community in the wake of the allegations, he said he has "felt nothing but the opposite throughout this whole process."
"I had assumed that I lived in a community of people that would be the first to look down on me and judge me and point fingers at me, and I felt nothing but the opposite throughout this whole process. Let me just say how hopeful and encouraging that was to be working on my own mental health and my recovery and healing and have a bunch of people rooting for me and supporting me meant the world," he shared.
Crist went on to admit: "I made a lot of poor choices in my personal life."
"I've made a lot of decisions that hurt myself, that hurt other people and that embarrassed myself and had consequences, and I can look you in the eye and own that," said Crist.
After the allegations came out — they were published in a report by Charisma News — Crist said that "at the beginning of this process, I wanted to hop on the internet and justify and rationalize and minimize and kind of explain and defend myself."
But "coming all the way through the healing and recovery process," Crist said, "I can look at you eight months later and say that those choices were on me. And those decisions were mine and no on else's, and no one else is to be blamed."
"I point the fingers at no one else but myself," said Crist. "And I made those choices, and that's on me. I don't think there's any way else to explain that."
Crist explained, "I had a problem, and I needed to get some help."
"I think that's the simplest way to say it," he said. "That's what I've been doing for the last eight months, and that's what I'll continue to do to put a priority on my own mental health. So let me just say thank you."
He went on to point out the "hypocrisy" in the way he was living his life.
"It is perhaps to me the most embarrassing part is that I make a living, all my comedy videos were pointing out hypocrisy in a lot of ways. Whether it's the honest football coach: this is what he's saying, but this is what he means. Or every parent at Disney: this is what the commercials are saying, but this is what it's really like at Disney."
"And perhaps the most embarrassing part of this whole thing is the biggest hypocrite in all this was me," he said.
"That I was portraying a person on the internet that I was not behaving like privately. I think that's the simplest and easiest way to put it. And that's on me," Crist shared.
He said that if he can "look you in the eye and tell you that I'm part of the problem, then I can also be a part of the solution. I think that's what I'd like to be."
While there were many times that Crist wanted to return to social media throughout the past eight months, he said he knew he needed to "take the time to fix the broken pieces of myself."
"I've been doing that in my personal life and I'd like to make that transition to continue to do that publicly. Obviously, there's been a million times in the last eight months that I want to jump on the internet and make a video or make a joke or an Instagram Story, but I knew that if I didn't take the time to fix the broken pieces of myself, that I wasn't going to be good for anybody," said Crist.
The comedian concluded the video by thanking his fans "for the love and support and care."
"It truly has meant the world and I'm grateful you guys have been on this journey with me and I can't wait for the future," he said. "I'll see you soon."
In Charisma News' Nov. 6 report, five women, whose names were intentionally replaced with pseudonyms by the outlet, came forward with accusations about Crist. The outlet reported that “Crist has exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women over the last seven years,” multiple sources alleged.
“The allegations include, but are not limited to, individually sexting multiple women during the same time period, initiating sexual relationships with married women and women in committed relationships, offering show tickets in exchange for sexual favors and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk,” Charisma News reported.
In a previous statement issued to Charisma News at the time, Crist apologized “for the hurt and pain” that he has caused various women, admitting that he has “treated relationships with women far too casually, in some cases even recklessly.” (PEOPLE confirmed Crist’s statement via his rep.)
“Over the past number of years, various women have accused me of behavior that has been hurtful to them. While I am not guilty of everything I’ve been accused of, I confess to being guilty of this — I have treated relationships with women far too casually, in some cases even recklessly. My behavior has been destructive and sinful,” Crist began.
Jason Davis/Shutterstock John Crist
“I’ve sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most. I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process. I am sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused these women and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I have also hurt the name of Jesus and have sought His forgiveness,” he continued.
Crist further revealed in his statement that he had sought professional treatment to help with his “addiction struggles.”
“Over several recent years, I have privately sought and received regular professional treatment for my sexual sin and addiction struggles,” he wrote.
While seeking “healing and freedom,” Crist announced that his remaining 2019 tour dates had been canceled.
“I’m committed to getting healing and freedom from my sin and have decided to cancel my remaining tour dates this year and to postpone all future commitments in order to devote all my time and energy on getting healthy spiritually, mentally and physically,” said Crist, who made Pollstar’s Top 100 Tours Globally list in 2019, “with over 197,000 tickets sold for his ‘Human Being Tour,'” according to his biography.
He later went on to say, “I’m ashamed of my behavior and I’m so sorry for hurting so many people. I don’t blame anyone but myself. I’m responsible for my actions and I’ve repented and am taking full ownership."