NEW YORK — The conservative scholar behind a high-grossing film that condemns President Barack Obama resigned Thursday as head of an evangelical college following a report about his engagement to a woman while still legally married to his wife.
The board of The King’s College announced school president Dinesh D’Souza was stepping down immediately after their discussion with him during a marathon meeting to decide his future.
D’Souza, director of the anti-Obama documentary “2016: Obama’s America,” has said he’s done nothing wrong. He could not be immediately reached for comment today.
The resignation was announced two days after the evangelical magazine WORLD reported that D’Souza spoke at a Christian values event in South Carolina and brought along his fiancée Organizers said they confronted D’Souza after concluding that he and his fiancee had shared a hotel room while attending the gathering.
D’Souza said he’d been going out with 28 year old Denise Odie Joseph II for 3 months. The Kings College students have said the now former fiancée had been hanging around the NY campus longer. It is also being reported she is married. (according to her Facebook page she married the end of 2011). He has been separated from his wife since 2010, and has a daughter.
D’Souza came out swinging at World Magazine, denying he and the 29-year-old shared a room, or that he was having an affair, and say the North Carolina conference organizer or World Magazine quoting him about ‘nothing happened’ was pure libel. D’Souza’s denial interview with Christianity Today yesterday was awkward.
In another interesting twist, the pr department at the 300 student college released a resignation statement for D’Souza he had not approved of.
CORRECTION: Due to a premature press release from The King’s College, Mr. D’Souza was quoted saying “[his actions] have not been consistent with the standard of leadership required for the position of president at The King’s College, and have created a distraction that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to continue in my role without adversely affecting the students and school I have grown to love.” This quotation was drafted by a press officer and not said or approved by Mr. D’Souza himself. King’s has attempted to correct the error but the erroneous quotation has been picked by some media.
The use of ‘premature’ is ironic.:^) His resignation statement:
I am grateful for the past two years that I have spent as president of The King’s College. But now it is time to move on. My resignation will enable The King’s College to go forward without distraction. And it will also enable me to address personal matters in my life as well as to pursue new opportunities made possible by success of my recent book and film.
Fred Clark at the Slacktivist points out that D’Souza’s politics, his racism and homophobia endeared him to many evangelicals. He commanded about 10 thousand dollars per speech at various religious/political conferences. No, no, no –we were fine with the racism, but the adultery is upsetting:
But D’Souza wasn’t embraced by the evangelical tribe just because he affirms the creeds and C.S. Lewis. What made CT and King’s College and the rest of mainstream evangelicalism decide that D’Souza was one of us was his political history — a former policy aide in the Reagan White House, D’Souza is fiercely opposed to abortion, gay rights, feminism and progressive taxation.
Yes, conspiratorial warnings about Africans and anti-colonialism contributed to D’Souza’s legitimacy among evangelicals.
As Sarah Posner said, “D’Souza’s … rise in the evangelical world is due in no small part to his conspiracy-minded claims about President Obama’s ‘Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.’”
The film 2016: Obama’s America, directed by D’Souza and based on one of his books, is fourth highest US grossing documentary and has brought in over 33 million dollars.
The King’s College statement
The small college was formed in NJ in 1938 and closed in 1944. Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) started it up in NY five years later. The college teaches business, politics and philosophy.
The student newspaper reports the school may now move away from being known as a politically conservative institution and more toward its original branding as a Christian college.
Update: Ms. Joseph II FB page is still up: