Many victims of Clayton Jennings have come forward to Polemics Report. Some have allowed us to publish their story, after we verified the truthfulness of it through their evidence (screenshots, texts, voicemails, audio, etc…). However, up until now, they have all come forward anonymously, and “Team Jennings” has continued to call them (or us) “liars,” and intimidated the other victims not to come forward lest their reputation be “ruined.” Watching these reports was Christen Whitney, an Indiana native, and participant on this season’s reality show, The Bachelor. Whitney has decided to come forward with her name, to once and for all shut the mouths of those defending Jennings and attacking his victims. We applaud Whitney for her bravery and testimony. From Christen:
Let me preface by saying this was not easy for me. To be completely transparent, I am somewhat terrified. Afraid of people who may come at me, or judge me from every angle. I’m just a girl, not claiming to be perfect by any means, but telling my story on behalf of the women who have contacted me and are also terrified to come forward. I did not enjoy writing this, or ever, ever want to share any of this. Dread would be a better word. Trust me, it’s not a fun position to be in, and it took me a really long time to make this decision. I decided to write this on behalf of the girls who were continuing to contact me, saying that if I had the courage to come forward, that would give them the courage to tell their story.
For a long time, I was hesitant to respond to all of the information surfacing about Clayton. God has emotionally healed and separated me from the situation, so I didn’t want to dive back in and drudge up the feelings. Also, let me further preface one more time by saying how hard it was to write something like this, since this in in the past, and my intention is never to try and put someone under a magnifying glass or air out their dirty laundry.
I’m not here to question whether Clayton’s apologies are genuine or not. That’s not for me to say, and quite frankly, I don’t care. I’m not here to take him on. I’m just stepping out and taking a risk to speak the truth, and be a voice for the other women, because I have seen them, and I have seen how they are STILL hurting and STILL damaged over the way they were used and thrown away. People have said that I have a lot to lose by the public with this, but for the sake of women everywhere, I decided to move forward. So here it is; plain and simple truth. I’m not asking anyone to form any opinions, I’m just further validating the other women who have already come forward.
I met Clayton back in 2014 when he asked me to be in a video he was producing. We started seeing each other for a brief time after. When we first hung out, he told me that we could only hang out late at night, because of his busy life, and that was the pattern of it (I remember asking him if Carrie Underwood wrote the song Cowboy Casanova about him). He never wanted to see me during the daytime.
One thing I shared with Clayton, in the beginning, is that I was a virgin and that it was really important to me. It was not an easy decision by any means, but it was something I had fought for and wanted to continue to hold on to until I was married. At the time, he was receptive and praised that.
The first night we had a great time, but I remember feeling a little uneasy when we got home and he asked if my roommates were home, and he suggested we watch one of his videos, and then without hesitation, kissed me. When he left, I was a little surprised that someone aiming to be a leader in ministry would be so immediately forward and aggressive, but I justified it that he must just be a very assertive person. I was uncomfortable, but because his life and career was talking about Jesus, I ignored the confusion and my intuition. I was sure that he was trustworthy, and he had made it clear that he was really interested in me, so I was excited to get to know him and I let my guard down.
Unfortunately in the weeks to follow, there wasn’t much “getting to know him.” There was just constant pushing from him to be physical.
“Physical touch is my love language,” he would say. “Being physical is how you and I connect” and “it’s how we get to know each other.”
On several occasions, I would stand up and take a couple steps back from the situation, asking him to just have a conversation with me and get to know me. He was relentlessly persistent. I remember the massive baseball-sized hickey he left on my neck the second time we hung out. “I’m a lion” he would say, “I’m a man…I’m not like the boys you’re used to dating.”
I know this is where a lot of people would ask me, “Why continue to see him?” I wanted so badly to believe that it really was a relationship God was piecing together, and I bought into the mentality of, “he’ll change these things for me. Eventually, after enough conversations, he’ll respect me and hear me.”
But unfortunately that was not the case, and he was very clearly not used to hearing the word “no.”
It was a confusing situation because I wanted to believe that he was trustworthy and that he meant what he said when he talked about “our future together,” or when he said, “God had shown him his wife.” Those words had me hook, line, and sinker.
Honestly, I was a silly little girl, I used to beg him to get to know me. The conversations usually went like this: “This is how we get to know each other,” he’d say, “I agree we shouldn’t have sex but I don’t think anything else is off-limits.” He was always calling me “wifey” and asking for pictures. When I wouldn’t respond he would send the usual dose of clocks and angry face emojis. Finding out the identical stories of these other girls was pretty shocking. The last time I saw Clayton, the conversation had a lot to do with “our future.” He played me a song that melted my heart and described the way he felt about me (supposedly), and that led to him staying the night at my house. He suggested we should just lay down and watch some of his videos.
During his videos, he became physically assertive (assertive is my very nice and watered down word for it), and this time more than in the past. The problem was, I did not feel like I had much to say in the situation. Clayton knew what a huge deal being physical was to me and we had an exhausting amount of conversations about it, but he barreled past my “no’s.” To put it plainly, I said “no” and he didn’t care. I’ll spare the detail after that, but I will say we did not have sex, which I think was truly God’s protection. But the way I felt used really scarred me.
Listen, I’m not an idiot and I know it takes two to tango. I blamed myself equally because I knew I had put myself in that situation. I was just extremely naïve. Anyway, that night he was very forceful, knew what he wanted to happen, and wasn’t going to give up until it did.
I ended up leaving the room, sleeping in another bedroom, and crying a lot of the night, because I had wanted so badly to trust him and felt that I had let down God, myself, and everyone else. He slept like a baby, per usual.
The next morning, Clayton apologized, seemed truly grieved about it, and hugged me bye, and right after leaving, told me not to tell anyone. He said, “This is our business and no one knows us.”
My naive little self thought this was a relationship, and he would only ever be physical like that with someone he truly planned to marry. So, thinking we were going to keep moving forward and work through this, I told him I wanted us to have accountability and that I wanted people who knew about it, and who could give us wisdom.
What I didn’t realize is that Clayton had no intention of seeing me again, or even talking to me for that matter. His reasoning, an all too familiar one, was his dad was dying and it was the hardest time of his life.
About a year later, Clayton contacted me randomly. He said that he had “thought about me every day since.” He asked me to come over to his new house so we could spend the whole night “talking like I liked to do” and catching up on everything God was doing. I entertained the thought, thinking he meant what he said, but wasn’t willing to drive to his house late at night. He offered to pay for my gas and sent the usual dose of angry emojis. I knew what that would mean, and I didn’t go.
HERES THE THING.
It has taken me over four months to decide to write this, because I wasn’t going to originally, mostly out of apathy. It took a long time to get the knife out of my back, but God radically set me free from the rejection over a year ago. I’ve forgiven Clayton, and moved on. I still prayed for him constantly, and prayed that he would be blessed in everything he put his hands to. The truth is, for the longest time I protected him. I never told a soul. I stood up for him in all situations, and did so because I thought that our relationship was an exception, a mistake that he felt terrible about, and not a lifestyle.
Right before Thanksgiving of this year, Clayton called me multiple times. This obviously was surprising, considering it had been over a year since we spoke. When I talked to him, he spent an extended period of time asking for my forgiveness. I thanked him for his humility in calling me and was again very honest with him about how I couldn’t get the knife out of my back until God radically set me free. Clayton was seemingly very apologetic, told me that when he asked God what he needed to do, I was the first person that God laid on his heart, along with a handful of dudes that he had been prideful toward.
Two days later, my girlfriend who had walked through the situation with me, sent me a picture of one of the articles about women who had been victimized beginning to come forward.
Imagine my shock when the story I was reading was nearly identical (down to the last detail) to my story. It was chilling. So, was the phone call to buy my silence? I don’t know.
I’m writing this now because IT’S NOT OKAY ANYMORE.
It’s not ok for some of these men in the limelight to barrel forward leaving a trail of tears.
It’s not ok for a man to scream Jesus at the top of his lungs while simultaneously trying to collect hearts and virginities across the country.
It’s not ok for him to try and shut up these girls up.
I remember telling him once, “Clayton what you did to me, I wouldn’t do to my worst enemy.” I mean come on, you went out of your way, wooed me with promises of our future together, told me God had showed you your wife, and that you wanted to connect with me but physically was the only way we could truly connect and get to know each other, and then BOOM. Gone. Peacing-out just like that. Saying “Don’t tell anyone. They don’t know us,” and “It’s our business.”
But the thing is, there was no “we” or “our,” because after he got what he wanted, he was done. The “ministry calls” and “someone has to “tell the world.”
In other words, “Christen you can just sit there in the repercussions of what I fought hard to take from you…. I’ve got stuff to do, and Jesus selfies to take.”
I want to say this; I truly hope none any of this has taken place since he has been married. But here’s the problem, and here is the reason I finally decided to tell my story…
People have brought to my attention that he is calling these other women that he used and disposed of “liars” and “stalkers” or, here’s one, “fame seekers.” It took everything that these women had to get the nerve to expose such an intimate part of their lives. I mean, c’mon man, you already tried to take everything from them. The least you can do is give them their dignity.
You know, in hindsight, I was truly so confused… if he wanted to sleep around, why not just sleep around? There are plenty of women who would agree to hook-up with no strings attached, and you’d never have to hear about it, if you just made things clear in the beginning. But to me, the more I find out, the more it seems that wasn’t enough for him. Sex alone wasn’t enough thrill.
Listen, just because waiting is important to me does not mean I am casting any sort of judgment on anyone else’s decision. A woman can do what she wants with her sexuality, but don’t try to make her do what she does not want to do.
Don’t manipulate her emotionally and spiritually, and physically bulldoze past her no’s.
Don’t devote all of your time and energy into trying to break her down, so she will give up things that she has fought so hard to keep. Don’t do it, all the while, using the blanket of “God calling her to be your wife”. And then “peacing out” as soon as you get as much as you can get from her. I mean, the game of it seems so absurd. Why not just be with someone who mutually agrees that they want to be physical with you?
No one is perfect. I’m certainly not. That is the truth. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory and yet still He forgives us, and loves us, and He is so beautiful for that. Clayton apologized to me on several occasions, and we had several conversations about it afterward. What was hard to hear though, is that the behavior continued, and got worse. I wish he could have seen the hurt it caused me, and that would have been enough for him to not continue doing this to other women.
To Clayton Jennings, no hard feelings. I’ve forgiven you a long time ago. I just decided to write my story because I’m very sick of seeing women get bulldozed over, and shut up in the name of a man’s narcissism and desire. I guess it’s like you said….”there are too many boys in this world, and not enough men.”
– Christen Whitney
Editor’s Note: It was especially difficult for Christen to make the decision to come forward, precisely because she has been in the very public spotlight of a national television show. Christen has repeatedly advocated for personal chastity and virginity until marriage as a part of her testimony and evangelical tradition, and her convictions regarding such came out during the filming of The Bachelor. Nonetheless, Christen decided that her previous relationship with Clayton Jennings – as well as his “assertive” behavior toward her – should be exposed, for the good of his victims. For other links on the many articles written about Clayton Jennings’ promiscuity as a minister, click here.