A prominent televangelist admitted during a live TV broadcast Tuesday that he had an affair with a woman several years ago and alleged that three people have tried to extort money from him to keep his infidelity quiet.
Marcus and Joni Lamb founded the Bedford, Texas-based Daystar television network in 1997.
Lamb said he and his wife have healed their marriage and hoped to keep his adultery private. However, he went public after extortionists demanded he pay them $7.5 million.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we're not going to take God's money and pay to keep from being humiliated," Lamb said during the live broadcast of the Lamb's regular morning program "Celebration" on Tuesday.
CBN News spoke with Bishop Harry Jackson, founder of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, about Lamb's confession and other recent scandals involving Christian leaders. Click play for his comments on the importance of accountability in the church, following the updated CBN News report.
"I discovered he was having an emotional relationship, if you will, with someone and that it turned into an improper relationship," Lamb's wife said.
The televangelist said he takes full responsibility for the affair.
"Joni has no blame," he told viewers. "The other person doesn't have any blame.. I don't even blame the devil. It's all on me."
Joni Lamb said the Holy Spirit told her that her husband was "worth fighting for."
Lamb asked his viewers for their prayers and the network has posted a special message to its ministry partners on its website.
Daystar is an evangelical network, broadcasting in more than 200 countries. It is the second-largest Christian TV network after the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
The network features programs of well-known preachers, including Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and James Robison.
A. Larry Ross, a public relations executive who represents Daystar, told the Dallas Morning News that authorities were alerted to the extortion attempt. He said the threat was made in recent weeks, but he wouldn't say which law enforcement agency was contacted.
According to Ross, Daystar is a nonprofit that pays for its more than $70 million annual operating budget through paid programming. Viewers' donations go toward "ministry projects," he said.
Local police are also investigating the possible blackmail scam against Lamb.