Suit accuses televangelist of breaking moral clause

(RNS) Christian publisher Strang Communications has sued evangelist Benny Hinn, claiming he violated a moral clause in a book agreement and owes the company more than $250,000.

"Strang discovered that Mr. Hinn was engaged in a public, romantic and otherwise inappropriate relationship with another high-profile minister, who was divorced," according to the suit, filed Feb. 15 in a Seminole County, Fla., circuit court.

The company said it learned of the relationship last summer when Hinn was divorcing his wife, Suzanne Hinn.

At that time there were news reports that Hinn was seen holding hands with evangelist Paula White of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Fla.

The suit alleges that Hinn admitted to the publisher that he had an "inappropriate relationship with the other minister" and was obligated to repay advances for three future books.

Strang, which was recently renamed Charisma Media, said Hinn had refused to pay and, as of Dec. 31, owed the publisher $251,097.

A spokesman for Hinn, who is based in Irving, Texas, could not be reached immediately for comment.

In August, Charisma magazine, which also is owned by Strang, reported that Hinn admitted to a "friendship" with White.

"A friendship did develop," Hinn said of White, after the National Enquirer published a photo of the two of them in Rome last year. "Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That's a lie."

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