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Although former New Life Church leader Ted Haggard said that he had been guilty of "sexual immorality" in his 2006 farewell letter to his congregation, he insisted that any massages he received from frequent Westword subject Mike Jones lacked a happy ending. Now, however, at least one news organization is quoting Haggard as saying otherwise. In a June 25 broadcast, KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs shared the contents of an e-mail provided by Kurt Serpe, identified as a longtime friend of the Haggard family, in which the disgraced pastor allegedly confirms that Jones masturbated him.
The KRDO piece quotes Haggard as saying, "I was referred to Mike Jones from the concierge at a Marriott hotel when I asked for a masseur... It was during the massage that it started to become sensual, and that led to him masturbating me." After insisting "that was and is our only sexual contact," the e-mail notes that "during the conversation with Mike during and after the time he masturbated me, he told me about some drugs that he could get for me that would enhance my masturbation experience... I actually used them three times, throwing them away in shame before use two times. It is for these offenses that I confessed being immoral and deceitful."
Serpe told KRDO that the e-mail was sent after he'd asked Haggard to tell him the truth about the allegations against him. "He craved sex, he was a sexaholic," Serpe argued, adding that Haggard felt his actions were motivated more by an interest in masturbation and gratification than by homosexuality. He also insisted that his relationship with Jones lasted three months, not three years, as had been claimed elsewhere. Whatever the case, KRDO's info moves the story forward mere days after the appearance of a Colorado Springs Gazette article revealing that Haggard had returned to Colorado Springs from an extended exile in Arizona -- and its ending is getting less happy all the time.
The Haggard-Serpe e-mail, dated October 3, 2007, is accessible here. -- Michael Roberts