Haggard admits buying meth, says he got massage from accuser
LAST UPDATE: 11/3/2006 3:30:39 PM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – A Colorado church leader admits that he bought methamphetamine from a gay prostitute, and that he got a massage from him.
The admission from the Reverend Ted Haggard comes after Mike Jones accused him of paying for sexual encounters with him over the course of three years. As a result of the charges, Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which has 30 million members. He has also stepped down as leader of his 14,000 member New Life Church while the church investigates the charges.
Haggard told reporters that he bought the methamphetamine for himself. He says, “I was tempted, but I never used it.” Haggard told reporters he bought the meth because he was curious — but that he then threw it away.
He also says he never had sex with Jones. He says he received a massage from him after being referred to him by a Denver hotel.
Earlier, members of Haggard’s church insisted that the charges were politically motivated — coming just days before voters in Colorado and seven other states vote on amendments banning gay marriage. Jones admits that he went public with his claims because of the fight over the amendments — and because Haggard and his church publicly oppose same-sex marriage.