Evangelical Leader Accused of Gay Affair
November 3, 2006
Denver, Co -- A gay man and admitted male escort claims he has had an ongoing sexual relationship with a well-known Evangelical pastor from Colorado Springs.
Mike Jones told 9 Wants to Know Investigative Reporter Paula Woodward he has had a "sexual business" relationship with Pastor Ted Haggard for the past three years.
Haggard is the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The church has 14,000 members. He is also president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents millions of people.
Haggard is married with five children and an outspoken critic of gay marriage. Jones broke his silence Wednesday morning on talk radio.
In an exclusive interview Wednesday night, Haggard denied the claims and told 9NEWS he is prepared for his own church to investigate them.
"I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver," said Haggard. "I am steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife."
"I don't know if this is election year politics or if this has to do with the marriage amendment or what it is, but I'm not even the guy who will investigate it or question it. I don't know what the dynamics are, but this independent group will come in and do that."
Jones started talking to 9 Wants to Know two months ago. He claims Haggard has been paying him for sex over the past three years, even though Haggard preaches that homosexuality is a sin.
Jones also claims Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions.
"People may look at me and think what I've done is immoral, but I think I had to do the moral thing in my mind and that is expose someone who is preaching one thing and doing the opposite behind everybody's back," said Jones.
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw profiled Haggard in 2005 in a series on mega-churches. Haggard was also listed by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America last year.
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