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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

Phone Transcript Shows Robert Morris Asked Victim for Price to Buy Her Silence

By Sheila Stogsdill
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Pastor Robert Morris preaches at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. (Photo: Facebook)

A 2005 telephone transcript reportedly shows disgraced former megachurch pastor Robert Morris asked an Oklahoma woman how much money it would take to silence her about allegations he sexually abused her.

“Put a price on it,” Morris said on Sept. 22, 2005, according to a document that appears to be a transcript of a phone call, published on NBCnews.com.

NBCNews.com said the document was provided by a former Gateway staff member. The Roys Report (TRR) has not heard the audio of the transcript or seen the transcript reported by NBCNews.com.

Morris, founder of Gateway Church, resigned from the ministry he founded in 2000 earlier this month after Cindy Clemishire’s bombshell allegations he sexually abused her from 1982 to 1986.

Clemishire was 12 years old when Morris alleged first begin sexually touching her. She was 35 during the 2005 conversation.

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “What If Jesus Was Serious about the Church?” by Skye Jethani. To donate, click here.

“It is not a small number,” according to the transcript referring to Clemishire’s response.

Clemishire reportedly said, “Money doesn’t make you happy and I can understand that. So that is not what this is about.”

After Morris repeatedly pressed for a monetary amount, Clemishire said “Two Million Dollars,” the transcript shows.

Morris quickly ended the conversation.

In an earlier interview with TRR, Clemishire said she never wanted money. All she wanted was for Morris to pay for years of counseling she got to overcome the pain and damage caused by the alleged sexual abuse.

Clemishire said Gateway allegedly offered her $25,000 to compensate for her years of counseling.

Sheila Stogsdill is a freelance print journalist and digital reporter, primarily covering crime issues for KSN/KODE.

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7 Responses

  1. I pray you continue to send out vetted stories its very concerning what is happenning to our churches leaderships.

  2. I appreciate all of your reporting! I find it odd that in 2005, RM or someone at Gateway recorded a call and then someone transcribed it, and saved it on a computer? Something isn’t adding up. I can believe this happened, but please make sure you have a good source and that this report is accurate. We don’t need anything but the truth. If there is context that needs to be given so that this is more believable, that would be great to see.

    1. Sheila Stogsdill and Julie Roys –
      Can you give more details about why anyone would be recording and then transcribing church phone calls? We need truth – the good and the bad – but definitely just truth. Thank you.

  3. “Clemishire said Gateway allegedly offered her $25,000 to compensate for her years of counseling.”

    Correction: Robert Morris’s personal attorney, not Gateway.

  4. I am a bit confused. Cindy has stated she did not want money, but that she wanted financial compensation for her years of counseling but declined the 25k the church offered and at a later time asked for 2 million? Something is not adding up.
    Please know my intention is not to discredit Cindy. I believe her story is very real and it has very real consequences for Robert. But from my POV, it is becoming a hard story to follow.

    1. At least part of your answer is that she declined the $25,000 because it came with a non-disclosure agreement, which would prevent her from speaking out about her story.

    2. The specific communications between Robert Morris and Cindy Clemishire around 2005 are being reported as they become known, not in the order in which they occurred.

      The “$2 million” was off the top of her head in a transcribed phone conversation

      A few days later he emailed her saying his lawyers advised him that giving her money “under threat of exposure” would make her criminally liable.

      Later her lawyers formally asked for $50,000 and his lawyer countered with $25,000 if she signed an NDA.

      I suppose theoretically if he paid her $ without an NDA and she came back again and again, that would look like blackmail.

      Obviously a small price to pay for what could have imprisoned him for decades if not for statute of limitations.

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Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “What If Jesus Was Serious about the Church?” by Skye Jethani.