"We were both shocked and outraged that they would demand this much of God's money," Marcus Lamb said in an exclusive appearance on "Good Morning America" today. "They were trying to turn our pain into their gain."
He made the disclosure of the "private affair" during a telecast Tuesday evening on their "Daystar" Christian television network, the second largest in the United States. "Joni has no blame, the other person doesn't have any blame, I don't even blame the devil," Lamb said. "It's all on me."
The couple claim they were first approached several weeks ago by three individuals with the alleged blackmail. But despite the potential damage the scandal might bring, the couple of 28 years say they never considered giving in to their demands.
It was Joni Lamb, to the surprise of some, who did most of the talking during Tuesday's confession. "I discovered he was having an emotional relationship, if you will, with someone and that it turned into an improper relationship," she said.
The Lambs declined to name the person in the affair, only telling their millions of viewers that it happened "a few years ago." The three people involved in the alleged extortion were not involved in the affair.
"He had one inappropriate period of misbehavior, with one person and it wasn't a man," the couple's marriage counselor and close friend Fred Kendall said. "It wasn't a transvestite. It was with a woman; a Christian woman."
The Lambs told "Good Morning America" that they had always intended to make the affair public but had hoped to let their "healing and restoration complete first."
"When faced with this, we knew we had to share our story," Joni Lamb said. "I'm kind of glad that we can share it."
After she first learned of the affair, the couple submitted to counseling and now say their trust in each other is nearly restored. During the television confessional, she told her husband that the Lord convinced her he was worth the fight.
Local officials have opened an investigation into the alleged extortion.