John Crist says shame of sexual harassment scandal nearly drove him to suicide

John Crist

Christian comedian John Crist says he contemplated suicide at the height of his sexual misconduct scandal.

Crist, 36, spent part of last year in rehab after several women came forward to say that he had sexted them, initiated sexual relationships with them, and offered tickets to his show in exchange for sexual favors.

At the time, he said he was "not guilty of everything I've been accused of" but confessed to sexual sin and addiction, and treating relationships with women "far too casually, in some cases even recklessly."

In several Instagram videos posted over the weekend, Crist said the scandal was down to his "own horrific choices."

He also described hitting rock bottom in the wake of the scandal, which forced the cancellation of all his tour dates as well as a book and Netflix comedy special that had been in the pipeline. 

On March 12, after months out of the limelight, Crist took to the stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, an experience he said was "emotional".

"About 16 months ago, I really was going to end my life," Crist said.

"I remember specifically this story: I was in rehab, out in the desert in Arizona, and I was so sad. ... I was full of so much shame. ... I didn't want to participate in the recovery process or try to get better or anything."

Recounting that time, Crist told his therapist he wanted to go home, get drunk, and "bring girls back to my condo."

"And I want to do that every night until I run out of money, and then I want to kill myself," he said. 

"I believed something about myself that was untrue. I believe that this world would be better off with me not in [it]."

He admitted that the scandal was so shaming he wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy, but said he was glad it happened because otherwise he "would have just continued on the road of being a trash dude."

"I would have ended up [at] the end of my life alone and wondering why and hoping that the people on the internet would find me funny or relevant or whatever," he said. 

He added that he still has "all kinds of struggles" that he has to work through on a daily basis, but he is "not sad anymore."

He said it is his family, friends and fans that have kept him going all this time.

"Y'all kept me. I don't want to exaggerate this. In some type of way, you kept me on earth with your prayers, and your letters and your love. And I would regret if I didn't stay on the path to recovery and try to do the same for y'all," he said.