The end of celebrity megachurch Hillsong is nigh... maybe. Sure, Justin Bieber jumped ship, but details of abuse within the organization continue to crop up, and the lawsuits are a-comin’.
Hillsong Church has been hit with a $20 million suit (that’s $20,000,000, for those who like the see the zeroes), which makes me think things aren’t looking too good for them. According to The New York Post, Hillsong apparently hired Sydney Christian Life Centre to develop a housing complex in Rosebery, Australia, and it did, but allegedly constructed unsafe homes—causing owners of almost 300 Sydney apartments, ranging from $440,000 and $945,000, to sue. My next question is—since when are churches in the property development/landlord business? Oh right, they all are!
That’s not all. Hillsong’s Connecticut branch rents with the Wall Street Theater Company, and they’ve also sued the church $100,000 for unpaid rent and “immoral, oppressive and unscrupulous” acts. A source told The New York Post, “Hillsong just ghosted the theater. When the theater sent them a bill, they responded saying they were a small not-for-profit and couldn’t pay it, and that they didn’t owe it anyways because of the pandemic.” Nice.
It was only a matter of time before there were financial ramifications, right? I mean, first, disgraced pastor Carl Lentz was allegedly ousted from his position for cheating on his wife, letting the fame get to his head, and for being an all-around d-bag. In the last few months, anonymous sources have come forward to describe the climate at Hillsong as “discriminatory, exploitative, and elitist,” eventually leading to the revelation late last year that the church has been full of “verified, widely circulated stories of inappropriate sexual behavior amongst staff/interns” for years, according to Hillsong whistleblowers. Those included, as Page Six reports, at least one high-ranking church leader who was instructed to leave after it was learned he had “multiple inappropriate sexual relationships with several female leaders and volunteers and was verbally, emotionally, and according to one woman, physically abusive in his relationships with these women.”
Something’s gotta give, sometimes. [The New York Post]
Elizabeth Chambers has finally said something about the rumors and legitimate abuse allegations leveled against her ex-husband Armie Hammer, those which range from unusual kinks to his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend Paige Lorenze accusing the actor of physical abuse, including knife scars and bruises.
Just Jared, the teen-oriented gossip site, posted a picture of Hammer, Luca Guadagnino, and Timothee Chalamet on Instagram, captioning it, “Armie Hammer’s director and co-star from “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino and Timothee Chalamet) are teaming up for a... cannibal love story movie. (He’s not involved, just FYI) Tap this photo at the LINK IN BIO to read all about the upcoming project.” Chambers wrote in the comments, “No. Words.”
In other Hammer news, the actor has left The Offer, a forthcoming 10-part series documenting the making of 1972's The Godfather, Page Six reports.
- Luther actor Luke Westlake has died by suicide. He was 26 years old. [Page Six]
- The man at the center of the Olivia Rodrigo and Sabrina Carpenter “feud” has released a song. Apparently they’re fighting over some man named Joshua Bennett? He’s not worth it, ladies. [People]
- Good news: there might be a new, more accurate covid-19 testing mechanism! Bad news: the procedure involves an anal swab instead of a nasal one. I wouldn’t mind it, but if you’re getting tested regularly... things might get shitty. Just think of your (my) butt sweat, and the poor nurse tasked with examining it. Ugh. [Bossip]