“COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A young man who formerly attended New Life Church says that then-pastor Ted Haggard performed a sex act in front of him in a hotel room in 2006 and sent him explicit text messages.
His hidden relationship with Haggard, the man said, was followed by a period of isolation, struggles with drinking, drugs and suicide attempts.
Those latest allegations against Haggard, once an influential national evangelical leader, were reported Monday night by KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, which interviewed the man, now 25.
In a statement earlier Monday, Haggard apologized for his “inappropriate relationship” with the former church volunteer, but said it did not involve physical contact.
The newly disclosed relationship added a chapter to Haggard’s dramatic fall, which began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.
Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church.
The latest revelations involve Grant Haas, who told the TV station that he met Haggard in 2005 when he was 22. He said he told Haggard that he had been kicked out of a Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for his “struggles with homosexuality.”
“It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up and his whole attitude towards me changed,” he told KRDO. Reached by text message Monday, Haas agreed to be identified by The Associated Press. Haggard’s statement also identified him.
“I’m like, ‘This must be God,’” said Haas, who described wanting to be a pastor himself. “Why would this big guy, this big evangelical leader, be taking such an interest in me?”
Haas told KRDO that one night in Cripple Creek, a casino town west of Colorado Springs, Haggard “asked me if we were going to be godly or bad that night.” He said he told Haggard that he wanted him just to be his friend and pastor — but Haggard masturbated in front of him.
Haas also said Haggard at certain times sent him between 1,000 and 2,000 text message a month, some describing his sexual experiences and drug use from the road.
After the Haggard scandal in November 2006, Haas said he contacted the church immediately.
The church has said it struck a legal settlement with the man — it has not named Haas — in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship. Brady Boyd, Haggard’s successor as pastor at New Life, called it “compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”
According to documents Haas provided KRDO, he is to be paid $179,000 through 2009. Haas claimed the church didn’t follow through on promises to pay for counseling and medical treatment.
“Their main focus was, you know, cover it up, don’t say anything,” he said. “You’ll regret it if you come forward.”
Haggard, in his statement Monday, said he met with Haas two years ago — after the first allegations came to light — and asked him “forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship.” Haggard’s wife and a representative of New Life Church attended the meeting, Haggard said.
Boyd disclosed details of the relationship on Friday. He said then that evidence pointed to a long-running “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship.” On Monday, Boyd clarified that “sexual” didn’t necessarily mean physical contact.
“Our hearts go out to everyone hurt by the inappropriate actions that took place under former Pastor Ted Haggard,” Boyd said in a statement.
Boyd also suggested that the man would not have come forward if an HBO documentary on Haggard were not airing this week. On Sunday, Boyd told his congregation, “I’m sorry that this wound has been reopened for many of you.”
Alexandra Pelosi, director of the HBO documentary, said Monday she was sorry if that was the case.
“But this is what happens when you don’t handle things properly at the time,” said Pelosi, a daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “If the church had been 100 percent full disclosure at the time, maybe this wouldn’t be a problem now.”
Haas maintains a Web site on which he acknowledges that many people are visiting the site to learn about his experiences with Haggard. On the site, Haas identifies himself as a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
His resume says he was an intern at New Life Church in 2005 — the church described him as a volunteer — and currently works as an investment company as a retail account manager.
“As far as my personality, I’m a fun outgoing guy with a great sense of humor,” he says on the site. “I don’t take myself too seriously and have learned from my past experiences to laugh and enjoy life.”
Haggard, 52, is married with five children.”
“Fallen evangelical pastor Ted Haggard says he had an “inappropriate relationship” with a young male church volunteer, but it did not involve physical contact.
Haggard’s successor at Colorado Springs’ New Life Church, Brady Boyd, has said evidence pointed to an “inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship” between Haggard and the man, who was in his early 20s.
Haggard said in a new statement Monday that he met with the young man two years ago, along with his wife and a representative of New Life Church. At that time, he asked the man’s forgiveness for “our inappropriate relationship.”
His statement says, “Although there was no physical contact, I have regretted my irresponsibile (sic) behavior.”
Ah but which, young male church volunteer? Lots of wiggle room there Ted, as I’m sure there are many you never got around to having an “inappropriate relationship” with.
As opposed to the ones you did.
And as this story continues it’s creating problems not only for you but your documentary-confecting apologist Alexandra Pelosi, and America’s favorite crying towel Oprah who has already shot a show with you in which you claim Mike the masseur was your only slip up.
“Gale – get me rewrtie!”
Oh what a tangled web we weave. And that’s not all that’s going on in “inappropriate relationship land. Consider–
Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Can I get an “Oh Prunella!”
PORTLAND, OR — Today Mayor Sam Adams released the following statement:
“Tomorrow, I go back work as your mayor. I know I have let you down and made mistakes. I ask your forgiveness. I believe I have a lot to offer the city I love during this time of important challenges.
Beginning tomorrow morning, I will be back in my office doing the work that the last 20 years of public service have prepared me for. And my pledge to you is this: I will work harder than I ever have in my life to meet the challenges facing our great city. Tough economic times are creating record unemployment, strained city services, and the worst financial landscape for businesses since the Great Depression.
In the coming weeks and months, Portlanders will rightfully judge me not by my words, but by my ability to deliver results for them:
• To prioritize city spending to protect vital services such as public safety;
• To deliver on the 500 million dollar economic stimulus strategy to put Portlanders back to work;
• To improve our schools; and
• To continue to position Portland as the hub of this nation’s green economy;
As we push ahead together on these issues, each and every day — with lessons learned in hand — I will strive to regain your trust and faith in my ability to serve this city.
You’re welcome. Here’s the video.
And here’s the honey:
Needless to say, he’s got a story
“The former legislative intern at the center of the controversy involving Portland Mayor Sam Adams says Adams kissed him twice when he was 17 and that their relationship had “crossed the line” toward romance earlier than Adams has acknowledged.
Beau Breedlove, now 21, told The Oregonian on Saturday that Adams kissed him on the lips on two occasions before he turned 18 — once in Adams’ car and the other in the second-floor men’s room in City Hall after a party that Adams, then a city commissioner, had in his office.”
Sam’s a kissin’ fool!
Breedlove agrees with Adams’ account that the two didn’t have a sexual relationship until two weeks after he turned 18 in June 2005. He also says he welcomed Adams’ kisses and romantic interest, even though he was underage.
“I do not see any relationship that I ever had with Sam as me being taken advantage of,” Breedlove said. “I do not feel like I was ever a victim. I may have been 17, but I was an adult, and I knew what I was doing.”
I’ll bet you did, dear.
Adams last week admitted that he lied in the fall of 2007 during the early days of his campaign for mayor when he denied having a sexual relationship with Breedlove. Adams said he lied — and asked Breedlove to lie — to protect his chances of winning the mayor’s race because he didn’t think anyone would believe he didn’t have sex with an underage Breedlove. And he said repeatedly that he and Breedlove didn’t have a sexual relationship until the younger man turned 18. Adams has said that the relationship, while legal, was inappropriate.
Very Haggardesque, Sam.
“But Breedlove’s account of the kiss provides a different version from what Adams has given.”
Do Tell Michelle!
“After I learned for the first time that he was 17, I indicated to him that I was not interested in any sort of romantic relationship,” Adams said during his Tuesday news conference. Adams changed his account later that day before The Oregonian’s editorial board, saying they were attracted to each other during their first lunch meeting.
On Saturday evening, Adams said he didn’t recall kissing Breedlove after that lunch. But Adams said that even if he did, his earlier denials stand.
“I said that there was no sexual contact before he was 18,” Adams said. Asked again whether he kissed Breedlove, Adams replied: “I don’t remember, but if I did, it was not sexual contact.”
Adams abruptly ended the conversation after five minutes and referred questions to his attorney, Robert Weaver. Weaver said that even if Adams kissed a 17-year-old Breedlove, Adams broke no laws.
“There is nothing that (Breedlove) has said that is inconsistent with what the mayor has said,” Weaver said. “The mayor has said there was no sexual activity. Kissing is not sexual activity.”
The distinction is important legally. State law says third-degree sexual abuse, which is a misdemeanor, can occur when someone subjects another person to “sexual contact” when the person either does not consent to the advance or is younger than 18. The law defines sexual contact as “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person … for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either party.”
Adams is under criminal investigation by the attorney general’s office.
Well that’s a relief.
“Still, let’s get into the Wayback Machine, Sherman and see if we can get to the bottom of this.
Or find out who’s the Top.”
Breedlove on Saturday said the two met at the state Capitol while he was an intern at the Legislature and Adams, then a city commissioner, was meeting with lawmakers. He said they exchanged numbers and Adams eventually invited him to lunch in Portland.
They ate at Macaroni Grill in downtown Portland in May 2005. Breedlove says Adams asked him how old he was, and Breedlove told him 17.
Adams was surprised. “I don’t date people that young,” Adams says he told him. Adams has said that once he learned Breedlove’s age, he told Breedlove that he wouldn’t get romantically involved.
Breedlove, however, says that after the lunch, Adams offered to drive him to Union Station so he could catch a train back to Salem. He says that while stopped at a red light, Adams leaned over and kissed him.
Breedlove says Adams called him a few days later to invite him to a First Thursday party on June 2, 2005, at Adams’ City Hall office. He says Adams also invited him out to dinner afterward.
Adams has said his staff tried to warn him about Breedlove, fearing that their friendship might raise questions.
“I’ve got tons of questions Mr. Peabody”
“So does eveyone else, Sherman. Except Dan Savage and Gus Van Sant, of course. They love Sam.”
“Well he may be a very nice fellow, Mr. Peabody. Besides he’s openly gay, not a hypocritical Fundie creep like Ted Haggard.”
“True, Sherman. And that’s all the more reason to be disappointed in his lying.” Let’s continue shall we?”
Breedlove said he showed up at the party after a friend drove him from Salem. When the party broke up, he and Adams headed out to dinner at the Lotus Cafe. Before they left, they both used the men’s room on the second floor of City Hall. While in there, Breedlove says, they kissed again. He called the kissing mutual and said it lasted about a minute.
A City Hall security guard walked into the restroom right after they ended their kiss, Breedlove said, and he doesn’t think the guard saw them kissing. He says Adams knew the guard, addressed him by name and didn’t seem worried about being seen with Breedlove.
The two later had dinner at the Lotus and had no other romantic or sexual contact that night, Breedlove says. He then rode back to Salem with his friend.
Breedlove said he believed the kissing was indeed romantic. He hoped for — but didn’t see much chance of — a relationship with Adams.
“I saw it as a friendship that had crossed the line a couple of times, but I saw it as a friendship,” Breedlove said. “When I say cross the line, I don’t mean as an unwarranted or unwanted affection. I just didn’t see it as something with any potential. … I saw it as that was the line that we had crossed a couple of times, was ‘friends’ to ‘friends with benefits.’ ”
“Friends with benefits” is usually slang for friends who engage in sex.
Breedlove reiterated that the sexual part of their relationship didn’t begin until after he turned 18.
Breedlove celebrated his 18th birthday on June 25, 2005, at his parents’ house in Salem. He invited Adams, who arrived with a friend.
Breedlove says he and Adams agreed to have Breedlove come to Portland for the night two weeks after his birthday. He said they went out to dinner and spent the night at Adams’ home on July 9, 2005. Breedlove said he planned to leave the next day, but his plans changed and he remained in Portland. He stayed at Adams’ house a second night. Breedlove says their only sexual encounters took place that weekend.
Breedlove said he has retained Portland lawyer Charles Hinkle, who also represents clients including The Oregonian on First Amendment issues.
Breedlove said the experience of the past week — including the media attention and the loss of his privacy — has been wrenching. But he still feels a friendship with Adams, whom he admires.
“I was not pulled into this situation by Sam. I was not unfairly influenced by Sam. I think Sam is a wonderful man.”
“See Mr. Peabody? Beau thinks he’s a wonderful man.”
“Well Beau’s been a lot more ‘Up Close and Personal” than the rest of us, Sherman. And don’t you wonder what Peter Zuckerman has to say?
“When you’re right you’re right, Mr. Peabody.”
“Indeed Sherman. Sing us out Yma.”