A top megachurch pastor strongly denied punching and choking his 15-year-old daughter during an argument over a party, telling his congregation the allegations were "exaggeration and sensationalism".
"I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested," Creflo Dollar said in his first public appearance two days after police charged him with misdemeanour counts of simple battery and cruelty to children.
The 50-year-old pastor is one of the most prominent African-American preachers based around Atlanta.
He was arrested after his 15-year-old daughter called police at about 1am on Friday and told a Fayette County sheriff's deputy that she and her father argued when he said she could not go to a party.
A police report said the girl claimed her father charged at her, put his hands around her throat, began to punch her and started hitting her with his shoe.
The report said the deputy also interviewed Dollar's 19-year-old daughter, who said her father grabbed her sister's shoulders and slapped her in the face and choked her for about five seconds.