Brian Houston, founder of popular Australian worship centre, Hillsong Church, is said to have committed “indiscretions” against two women.
The current head of the church, Pastor Phil Dooley, revealed this to 800 church global staff during a video conference on Friday, ABC News reported.
Dooley, who took over leadership of the church from Houston in January, stated that the two alleged incidents included an ‘inappropriate’ text message and a hotel night encounter.
The alleged text message was sent to a female staff member by Houston.
“It was along the lines of ‘if I was with you, I’d like to give you a kiss and a cuddle or a hug’. Words of that nature,’ Pastor Dooley told the meeting.
Hillsong said the incident took place a decade ago.
The woman was reportedly paid “a couple of months’ salary” as compensation, after she complained.
The second incident occurred during the church’s conference held at Qudos Bank Arena in 2019. Houston reportedly entered an unnamed woman’s hotel room.
“It was after one of the conference nights and he was drinking with a group,” Pastor Dooley said.
He added, “Later that evening, Pastor Brian attempted to get into his room but didn’t have his room key and ended up knocking on the door to the woman’s room.
“She opened the door and he went into her room.
“The truth is we don’t know what happened next. The woman has not said there was any sexual activity. Brian has said there was no sexual activity but he was in the room for 40 minutes.”
However, there were no reports of any sexual encounter and the woman involved didn’t allege same.