An investigation into allegations against Ravi Zacharias confirmed that the famous apologist, who died in May 2020, engaged in several inappropriate sexual relationships over the course of several years, including with a married woman at the center of a recent legal lawsuit.
“Some of that misconduct is consistent with and corroborative of that which is reported in the news recently,” the interim report, which was presented to the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) board, said. “And some of the conduct we have uncovered is more serious.”
Allegations against Zacharias first became public in 2017, when Lori Anne Thompson accused the late apologist of “grooming and luring her into a sexting relationship.” Though the two were rarely able to meet in person, the two engaged in a sexually explicit relationship through texting, phone calls and Zacharias’ request for nude pictures.
In response to the allegations, Zacharias and his team filed a federal lawsuit against the woman and her husband, accusing them of attempting to extort him and that she sent him “unwanted, offensive, sexually explicit language and photographs.”
The couple, who are based in Canada, settled the lawsuit and were forced into a nondisclosure agreement. Zacharias then went to Christianity Today to publicly plead his innocence, ironically breaking the nondisclosure agreement.
“I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal,” Zacharias said at the time. “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”
As it turns out, a new investigation conducted by Miller & Martin has seemingly confirmed that Zacharias had a history of engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships, exposing himself and other sexual misconduct. (Thompson has not been contacted by Miller & Martin and the Zacharias family has not released her nor her husband from the nondisclosure agreement at this time, despite repeated requests.)
The RZIM board received an interim report within the last couple of days, and released an official announcement on its website, stating, “Sadly, the interim investigation update indicates this assessment of Ravi’s behavior to be true—that he did indeed engage in sexual misconduct.”
“This misconduct is deeply troubling and wholly inconsistent with the man Ravi Zacharias presented both publicly and privately to so many over more than four decades of public ministry. We are heartbroken at learning this but feel it necessary to be transparent and to inform our staff, donors, and supporters at this time, even while the investigation continues.
“We will speak more comprehensively to all concerned after the completion of the investigation.”
Though the specifics weren’t addressed in the RZIM statement, Christianity Today published an article earlier this year discussing how Zacharias behaved inappropriately at several massage parlors he co-owned.
According to three women who worked at his businesses, Zacharias “touched them inappropriately, exposed himself, and masturbated during regular treatments (up to 50 times with one woman) over a period of about five years.” His business partner also reportedly has stated his regrets that he did nothing about Zacharias’ behavior and sent one of the women a letter of apology. Zacharias apparently also tried to solicit nude photos from the some of the massage therapists as well.
The investigation will likely conclude in in the early spring of 2021.
Photo is from WikiMedia.