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Dinesh D'Souza quits as NY college head amid scandal

October 19, 2012 14:06 IST

An India-born conservative scholar, who made a high-grossing documentary condemning United States President Barack Obama, has resigned as head of an evangelical college here after a scandal broke out over him taking a woman other than his wife to an event on Christian values.

Dinesh D'Souza, 51, resigned from his post as president of The King's College, just days after the institute's board announced a review into a report that said he had allegedly shared a hotel room with a woman he had introduced as his fiancée.

The college said its board of trustees on Thursday accepted D'Souza's resignation effective immediately. He was appointed president of the Christian college in 2010.

Board Chairman Andy Mills would step in as interim president and he urged the King's community to 'pray for Dinesh and his family during this difficult period'.

"After careful consultation with the board and with Dinesh, we have accepted his resignation to allow him to attend to his personal and family needs. We thank him for his service and significant contribution to the college over the last two years," Mills said.

In a statement on his website, D'Souza said it is 'time to move on'.

"I am grateful for the past two years that I have spent as president of The King's College. But now it is time to move on. 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," he said.

The investigation into D'Souza's conduct was launched by the college on Tuesday when conservative Christian news magazine 'WORLD' reported that he had checked into a hotel in South Carolina in September with a woman he introduced as his fiancée.

He had also taken the woman to a conference on Christian values. D'Souza was already married and filed for divorce from his wife, Dixie D'Souza, a few days after the conference, according to California court records.

The event organisers had confronted D'Souza about sharing the hotel room with the woman who was not his wife. D'Souza denounced the article, saying he and his wife had been separated for two years and that he and the woman he was travelling with had stayed in separate hotel rooms.

"I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced," he wrote on FoxNews.com. "As a result of all this, and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety," he wrote, he was suspending his engagement.

D'Souza is the author of several best sellers and directed the film '2016: Obama's America' based on his book 'The Roots of Obama's Rage.' The film became a high-grossing political documentary.

The college was founded in 1938 in New Jersey but the school went bankrupt and closed in 1994. It was revived five years later by Campus Crusade for Christ, with a few hundred students in rented space in the Empire State Building.

The college, which recently moved to a new location in lower Manhattan, aims to shape young Christians as future leaders in all sectors of society.

Yoshita Singh in New York