Kiss and tell: Shannon Bellamy's book is about her alleged affair with a Bermudian pastor. * Photo supplied
Kiss and tell: Shannon Bellamy's book is about her alleged affair with a Bermudian pastor. * Photo supplied
A Bermudian pastor has been accused of affairs with parishioners in a new kiss-and-tell book.

Author Shannon Bellamy claims she is one of his former lovers and that they had a two-year affair.

The 39-year-old claims he abused his position to seduce her and manipulated her - including persuading her to have $20,000 of cosmetic surgery that put her health at risk.

Ms Bellamy said: "There were so many lies, so much manipulation... it took me so long to see it.

Pimps

"I trusted him. He was my pastor and counsellor.

"As I sit here and read my diaries, on which my book was based, I can't ­believe what I went through for him."

The alleged affair took place at a baptist church in Pennsylvania.

Ms Bellamy, an American, details it in her self-published book Pimps In The Pulpit. She says 250 books have been printed, costing her $10,000.

The pastor, who moved to the U.S. with his wife and children in the 1990s, often returns to the island, according to Ms Bellamy.

Asked if she accepts any responsibility for the affair, Ms Bellamy claims she "reported it to the Bishop of the church and due to the major mind control [the pastor] had over me, I was taken advantage of and unable to break away from his influence".

She added: "The Bishop of the church happened to be good friends with him. Both of them used to travel to Bermuda together.

"The pastor came back to me angry and said that I should have told him if I couldn't handle it.

Ms Bellamy claims she was "not the first woman" to be seduced by the pastor.

She said: "He told me that he was angry at me for telling people because the others had told nobody.

"He said you could shake them upside down and nothing would come out."

Ms Bellamy also alleges the Bermudian pastor was not the only preacher at the church chasing women.

She said: "It's a real boys' club over there - they all cover for each other."

The Bermuda Sun sought comment from the pastor but we were referred to his church, which issued a statement: "We have been made aware of certain allegations lodged against our church and our values and are investigating and addressing them.

"While we don't question the motives of these attacks, this unfortunate distraction has not, and will not, give pause to our greater, spirit-led mission of service."

Ms Bellamy says her relationship with the pastor was platonic for the first few months after they met.

Her husband was returning from military service and she went to the pastor for counselling as the couple had been having problems.

She said: "I had fallen pregnant with my [husband's] fifth child and he [the pastor] told me to terminate the pregnancy - that I didn't need any more children as I already had four. He told me to divorce my husband, that he was wrong for me.

"I ended it with my husband in December and the relationship with the pastor became physical in March." When the affair began, Ms Bellamy was a real estate agent; she moved to a new city when the market sank.

She said: "I needed boxes to pack up my stuff and he [the pastor] came round with boxes.

"I remember breaking down and crying about my situation and the next thing I know, we're on the floor having sex.

"Within three to four weeks after that first time we were intimate, he coerced me into believing that he only wanted what was best for me.

"I was already a broken woman when the affair started.

"Looking back I feel so violated. He would say he had prayed to the Lord for me and told me that although God would not condone what we were doing, he would allow it.

"He'd be lying there in my bed and start to pray."

Asked for proof of the affair, Ms Bellamy shared an email apparently sent to her by the pastor in February 2007. It reads: "Yesterday was wonderful on many fronts. As usual the time was impeccable and the impact emotionally and physically was superb.

"Once again I saw you, I saw me, I saw us and we were beautiful."

Ms Bellamy alleges the pastor coaxed her into breast augmentation, liposuction and a tummy tuck. She said: "I was in ICU for three weeks. I had a bilateral pulmonary ­embolism - basically blood clots in both lungs.

"He put me at risk for his own satisfaction. That, for me, was enough."

Ms Bellamy says she ended the affair in January 2008 and stopped going to the church in September.

She claims that at that time she approached the pastor's wife, who is also Bermudian, and "apologized for hurting her".

She said: "She cried and hugged me and told me she forgave me. He called me and said I was to never approach his wife again."

Ms Bellamy, now a full-time student finishing a BA in communications, says the church has sent her "a threatening letter" urging her to cease publication.

But she hopes the book will empower women, claiming her aim is "not to tear down the church" but to expose inappropriate relationships.

She advocates same-sex counselling or at least the presence of a third party during church

counselling.

Pimps In The Pulpit will be available from September 27 at www.shannonbellamy.com. Ms Bellamy says it can also be ordered from bookshops.