Controversial televangelist Benny Hinn has dropped his lawsuit against a media consultant for a tweet that the evangelist found false, defamatory, embarrassing and potentially costly.
Hinn filed the lawsuit against Christian media consultant Phil Cooke for Cooke’s Twitter message on Jan. 10 that Hinn and evangelist Paula White were reportedly engaged.
The lawsuit was dropped after Cooke — author of The Last TV Evangelist: Why the Next Generation Couldn’t Care Less About Religious Media — issued an apology.
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On January 10, 2011, Cooke tweeted:
TV EVANGELIST NEWS: Benny Hinn and Paula White reported engaged. Prayer cloths are rejoicing everywhere.
According to a press release by Benny Hinn, Cooke recanted his message on March 12, 2011, writing,
My tweet last month that Benny Hinn was engaged was wrong — my source was mistaken. I’m sorry and apologies to Benny Hinn and his children.
The press release also states that Hinn dropped the lawsuit in exchange for the apology “and other concessions from Cooke.”
In February 2010 Benny Hinn’s wife Suzanne filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple were at that point living apart. The Hinns were granted a divorce last December.
Last July there were reports — first published in the National Enquirer — that Hinn was romantically involved with televangelist Paula White after the two were photographed holding hands while on a trip in Rome.
Both televangelists denied having an affair.
However, last February book publisher Strang Communications (currently marketing itself as Charisma Media), sued Benny Hinn, saying he violated a morality clause in their contract when he began an “inappropriate relationship” with Paula White, and thus, must pay $250,000.