Israel Houghton defends dating Adrienne Bailon after divorce: 'she shouldn't be blamed for my past'

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Gospel singer Israel Houghton is addressing reports that he’s dating Adrienne Bailon just one month after divorcing his wife of 20 years.

In mid-February the Grammy-winning Gospel singer announced on his Facebook page that he had divorced his wife, Meleasa.

This weekend photos went viral of Houghton and Bailon on a romantic beach getaway. Now Houghton is fending off attacks from his primarily christian fanbase about how quickly he seems to be bouncing back from his divorce.

It’s incredibly unfair to allow someone to carry the burden, blame & shame of something they had nothing to do with,” he wrote on Facebook.

He went on to add that he met Bailon two years ago, so it wasn’t like the two didn’t already know each other and have a friendship to build on.

“As I previously wrote in a statement I released a while back, My marriage had been over for quite some time before going public with my divorce announcement…I had not even yet met Adrienne during the time my marriage was falling apart,” he continued. “It deeply saddens me that an innocent party would be dragged into this situation that I have taken personal responsibility for. Adrienne is a woman of integrity & character… Most of all she is a true friend, and she should not be blamed for my past indiscretions.”

Bailon also addressed the backlash she’s received since being publicly photographed with Houghton yesterday in a since-deleted Instagram post.

“Please don’t feed in to the lies,” Bailon wrote. “You can body shame me… that’s fine. But please don’t insult my character & my integrity. God bless. We should all instead of spreading lies and creating a circus … Pray for Brussells. God bless.”