Accuser: I Didn't Aim to Ruin Pastor
By Kirk Mitchell
Denver Post [Colorado]
November 5, 2006
The prostitute who went public with allegations of gay sex and drug use with the Rev. Ted Haggard said he was saddened to learn Saturday the popular pastor had been fired.
"I hadn't heard that," Michael Forest Jones said. "I didn't want to ruin his life or his family's life."
Jones, 49, was reached on his cellphone as he arrived at Denver International Airport from a trip to New York, where he had just finished one of his numerous media appearances over the past few days talking about Haggard's alleged indiscretions.
Jones said he was reluctant to "out" Haggard. However, he said, there was too much at stake with Colorado voters Tuesday deciding whether to constitutionally ban gay marriage. Haggard has been a vocal public supporter of the ballot measure.
"I had to take a look at myself and how this affected my community, and I believe I did the right thing," Jones said. "You just can't have it both ways when you have so much influence. ... He should have been a better role model."
Although initially denying knowing Jones, Haggard on Friday said he only met him for a massage after being referred to him by a Denver hotel. He denied having sex with him but said he once bought methamphetamine from Jones but didn't use the drug.
Jones discounted Haggard's story that a hotel staffer referred Haggard to his business, "Body Masters."
"No concierge would ever refer him to me unless he said, 'Do you know of a gay masseuse?"' he said.
The Denver bodybuilder also said he never gave methamphetamine to Haggard but only told him whom he could buy it from. During their monthly liaisons over the past three years, Haggard would always come to him with the drugs, to enhance the experience, he said.
Jones failed a polygraph test Friday, and he said he is not going to retake another test.
"His credibility was at stake when he denied he even knew me the first day,"
Jones said he had never disclosed to Haggard, who told him his name was Art, that he saw him on a History Channel program five months ago.
"He never knew that I knew who he was," he said.
Jones also said he was not surprised to hear Denver police are seeking evidence that Haggard and Jones committed criminal acts.
"I put everything on the table," Jones said. "I also have to face the consequences, whatever they may be."
Staff writer Kirk Mitchell can be reached at 303-954-1206 or email@example.com.
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