Paula White’s marriage seems to have broken under the strain of several pressure points in her life, including addictions, IRS investigations and a growing disconnect from her husband.
Senior Pastor Paula White has been in the thick of a series of storms that have battered her since she and her husband, Randy White divorced in 2007 and even before. The only positive that she could take from all turmoil is that she emerged much stronger than before.
Evangelist Paula is frank enough to confess that she was a ‘messed up Mississippi girl’ when she was growing up. She married her first husband, Dean Knight when she was just a teenager and they had a son together, Bradley while she was still in her teens. In 1984, she became drawn to the gospel and church and turned Christian; she divorced Dean, soon thereafter.
In 1989, she met Randy White who was an evangelist of the Church of God. Randy too, was recently divorced. Paula and Randy first met in church where he was volunteering as a janitor. A friendship developed between the two and after dating for some months, Paula accepted Randy’s proposal of marriage and married him in 1999.
While Randy and Paula didn’t have any kids together, she was a step mother to Randy’s three kids from his previous marriage, Kristen Renee, Angie, and Brandon and of course, she was mother to her own son from her previous marriage, Bradley.
Initially, life was great for the White’s, their personal life and vocational life was going great guns; they had found fame and fortune. But, things turned south and life slowly started a downward spiral. The first blow was struck in 2004; the IRS launched an investigation into their ministry, probing their personal and organizational finances. The staff members of their church were divided in their support for the couple; some were virulent, while some were supportive.
This turned out to be the tip of an iceberg of troubles as the media went to town about their jet setting life style; Paula went through a midlife crisis; a friend was falsely accused and sent to prison; she suffered a stroke and then became addicted to the prescription drugs that had been prescribed for her stroke. Coincidently, even Randy went through the phase of addiction to prescription drugs, in his case, it was Xanax and Valium .She suffered further distress when she discovered that her son had become addicted to drugs and had been sexually abused by a male at one of their staff member’s home. Around this time, the whole family was also busy supporting Randy’s eldest daughter, Kristen whilst she was undergoing treatment for brain cancer. Kristen lost the battle for her life and died in 2008, a year after Paula and Randy’s divorce. In 2007, the US Senate, this time, ordered an investigation, the Grassley investigation into their ministry and their finances, which ended in 2011 with no penalties levied on them. With so many crises happening around them, the couple struggled with their marriage.
According to Randy, the main reason behind the cracks in their marriage was his belief that success and fame can’t coexist with love in the same house; the two were leading their lives separately and not together and he felt disconnected with her. He discounted rumors of infidelity on the part of Paula as the reason for their split, when a tabloid published a sensational picture of Paula White and another pastor, Benny Hinn walking out of a hotel holding hands, just after their split. Whereas, according to Paula, the picture was a lie and the actual reason behind their breakup was mainly that Randy shut himself off from her and she could no longer get close to him, to her despair.
Paula calls it a ‘weak moment’ the time when, under fire and pressure from various quarters, she and her husband decided to call it quits in 2007. Calling their split amicable, the couple now, continues to remain friends and have moved ahead in life, in different directions.