Main | Friday, January 23, 2009

Ted Haggard Had A Boyfriend

Immediately after the Mike Jones scandal broke in 2006, officials at Ted Haggard's New Life Church learned that Haggard had also had a longtime relationship with a young man at the church. The church paid for the young man's silence with college tuition, but with suspicious timing, he has now come forward as the HBO documentary about Haggard is about to debut.
Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told the Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Boyd said an "overwhelming pool of evidence" pointed to an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" that "went on for a long period of time ... it wasn't a one-time act." Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.

Reached Friday night, Haggard declined to comment and said all interviews would have to be arranged through a publicist for HBO, which is airing a documentary about him this month. Boyd said the church reached a legal settlement to pay the man for counseling and college tuition, with one condition being that none of the parties involved discuss the matter publicly. Boyd said a Colorado Springs TV station reached him Thursday to say the young man was planning to provide a detailed report of his relationship with Haggard to the station. Boyd said the church preferred to keep the matter private, but it was the man's decision to go public.
New Life Church says they will not pursue legal action against Haggard's boyfriend for violating their agreement. Earlier this month, Haggard said that his sexuality doesn't fit into "stereotypical boxes" and that he never claimed that he was heterosexual. He also expressed support for marriage equality, although an HBO spokesperson immediately retracted that statement. The documentary, The Trials Of Ted Haggard, debuts Thursday at 8pm. Mighty convenient, publicity-wise, eh???

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