Today's Denver Post previews Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour, a memoir by Gayle Haggard, wife of Colorado Springs evangelist and former male-escort fan Ted Haggard. Her conclusion: ""Love is powerful enough to erase a person's sins."
A gallon vat of Purell doesn't hurt, either.
Turns out, though, that the Post piece doesn't mark the first appearance of Why I Stayed excerpts. Back in November, snippets were offered to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Here's how Gayle and co-author Angela Hunt describe the moment when she first heard about the sex scandal:
When Ted's cell phone buzzed, he glanced at the message on the screen, and his countenance changed. He handed me his phone so I could read the text he'd received from a pastor friend. A homosexual 'escort' in Denver has leveled an accusation against a nationally known evangelical from Colorado Springs. The escort hadn't yet identified the man he was accusing; he said he would do that on a Denver radio station the following morning...
"Ted, is there anything to this?" I searched his eyes as we sat across from each other on our son's bed. "Do you know this man? Don't let me be surprised."
"I don't know this man," he answered.
And here's a scene featuring Ted and Gayle alone in their attorney's office after Mike Jones pointed his finger directly at Haggard:
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My heart skipped a beat when I heard the serious tone in his voice. When the door closed behind me, I felt the life begin to drain from my body. I sat down across from Ted at the attorney's conference table, and as I looked at him, I saw that his expression had changed. This was not the confident man who had entered the building with me only a few moments before. This man's face had contorted with anguish.
I sat stunned in my chair as Ted looked at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen on his face.
Haggard's presumably happier now. After all, his wife's book is the latest step in his attempt to rehabilitate his image.
Does he have a prayer? Well, suspected child molester Michael Jackson is now seen by untold millions of people as a posthumous saint. Does that answer the question?