NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prominent conservative Dinesh D’Souza has resigned his post as president of a small Christian college in New York City after admitting he had become engaged to a woman even though he was legally married, though separated from his wife.
The college announced the resignation on its website this week, and D’Souza, the director of the conservative film “2016: Obama’s America” and an outspoken defender of traditional marriage, confirmed the news on his personal website.
“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,” D’Souza said in a statement on Thursday.
D’Souza, 51, is a best-selling author and sought-after speaker in conservative circles. Since being named president of King’s - where the enrollment is 555 students - in 2010, he has brought both prestige and a measure of notoriety to the school.
Earlier this week, Christian publication World Magazine published an article that said D’Souza had been spotted at a Christian gathering in South Carolina in September sharing a hotel room with a woman, Denise Joseph, who is not his wife. The magazine said D’Souza filed for divorce the same day he was confronted by a World reporter.
In a post on the Fox News website, titled “I am not having an affair,” D’Souza conceded he and Joseph were engaged, but he angrily dismissed the World story. He said he and his wife, Dixie D’Souza, had been separated for two years, and that he met Joseph three months ago.
“I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings,” he wrote.
On Thursday, Andy Mills, chairman of The King’s College board, announced D’Souza’s resignation. Mills will serve as the school’s interim president.
Dixie D’Souza and Denise Joseph could not immediately be reached for comment.
Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Eric Beech