D'Souza began exploring the possibility of filing for a divorce after meeting Joseph about three months ago and later concluding that all opportunity for marital reconciliation had passed, he said.
"Anyone who has been through this legal field knows that these things take time," he said. "The filing with the court was October 4. The World article gives impression that it was on the day I spoke to Warren, October 4, I rushed and got this filing done."
D'Souza, a former CT columnist, said he did not know that Christians generally do not approve of engagements prior to divorces being finalized.
"I asked a lawyer whether there was anything wrong in being engaged while separated but prior to being divorced," he said. "I was told there's no problem with that and actually that happens all the time. I proposed to Denise and we became engaged."
"I believe I have good biblical grounds for divorce and was going through the legitimate process," said D'Souza. "The thing I will admit: I did not have any idea that it is seen as wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced even though separated. … That was a true error of judgment, but it was truly a case where I didn't know better."
"My purpose was to put our relationship on a legitimate and honorable foundation," said D'Souza. "I'm a college president at King's and a public figure as a Christian apologist, and I thought it very important that any woman I appear with have a legitimate relationship with me."
When CT asked D'Souza directly for his response to charges of infidelity, he responded: "It's absolutely not the case that [pause] . … Look, the issue here is that World is attributing to me an admission that I never made—is attributing to me a quotation that I never said. That to me is the problem. … They are just claiming based upon my non-assertion that I did something that I didn't do."
According to a statement released by the board of trustees at TKC, board members are discussing matters with D'Souza at the board's regularly scheduled meeting in New York today and tomorrow.
"Until we complete this internal process we do not intend to publicly address any matters related to Mr. D'Souza and his relationship with the college," the statement said.
Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, also released a statement saying that, although it supports TKC financially, the Board of Trustees operates autonomously. When D'Souza arrived in 2010, Cru owned TKC but was in the process of allowing TKC to become financially independent. That separation still has not been finalized.
"We are in full support of the board and trust their decision will be appropriate and biblical," Cru stated.
D'Souza said he is willing to "move on and do something else" if the TKC trustees ask him to resign.
"I've had an independent career that goes beyond the college," he said. "I want to do the best thing for [TKC]. If it's better for [TKC] that I move on and do something else, I'll move on and do something else. I've got plenty to do."
Meanwhile, Smith stands by his reporting.
"The article came about 100 percent because of his behavior at a public event, a Christian conference that we happened to be at because I was a speaker," he said. "We are 100 percent confident in our reporting."
Additional reporting by Timothy Morgan and other CT staff
Note: This article has been edited to remove verbal pauses in a quote to better conform to our news style.