A prominent televangelist appeared before a worldwide television audience Tuesday to admit that he had an affair with a woman years ago — and to allege that three people had tried to extort millions of dollars from him to stay quiet about his infidelity.

The Rev. Marcus Lamb, who created DayStar Television Network with his wife Joni, said he and his wife had healed their marriage and had hoped to keep his adultery private, but went public because they would not pay extortionists. The three people demanded $7.5 million, he said.

“They’re trying to take our pain and turn it to their gain,” said Lamb, during a one-hour live broadcast with his wife by his side and supporters surrounding him. “We’re not going to take God’s money to keep from being humiliated.”

A spokesman for the Lambs, Larry Ross, said they went to authorities with their allegations, but he said he could not discuss specifics for fear of interfering with any investigation. He said the extortion attempt was made within the past few weeks.

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