, Radar Online,
On November 3, all-American family man Ted Haggard resigned as head of the 30-million strong National Association of Evangelicals after a male prostitute named Mike Jones went public as the preacher's former lover and drug dealer. Jones claims he had monthly, crystal meth–fueled sex sessions with Haggard over the span of three years. The sequence of events that led to Haggard's stepping down followed a rather familiar pattern: Right-wing zealot publicly condemns homosexuality (Haggard was a vocal proponent of an amendment on the Colorado ballot banning same-sex marriage—it passed); rumors surface that said zealot might, you know, be gay; zealot issues a Clintonian denial ("I have not, I have never had a gay relationship with anybody"); rumors turn to fact; zealot admits as much ("I am guilty of sexual immorality"); zealot resigns from post and goes into hiding to receive treatment for his "issues" (Haggard is currently undergoing "spiritual restoration").
For the first time, Mike Jones shares the intimate details about his "working" relationship with one of the evangelical community's biggest national figures.
RADAR: Did you have any idea that your going public as Ted Haggard's lover would be national news?
MIKE JONES: I knew it was going to be big, but I didn't know it would be nationwide and so incredibly explosive. I guess I was a little naive. I knew it would certainly cause some friction and conversation.
How does it feel to be thrust into the limelight?
I wish I had a word for it. Everything is a blur to me right now. I've had over 500 phone calls, 300 e-mails. It is just overwhelming. You know, I made the decision to do it on my own because that's the kind of guy I am. It's hard for me to ask for help.
What is your religious background?
It's not much. I guess I was raised a Methodist, but that really doesn't mean anything to me. I consider myself a Christian. I pray to God, but my mom always taught me that my religion and worship with God is personal. I do my praying and stuff, but I'm very uneasy in a church setting. I don't like organized groups.
You've said that you came forward at this time for political reasons—because of the amendment on the Colorado ballot banning same-sex marriage.
You always hear people say, "I don't care what the politicians believe as long as they are honest about it." That is exactly what I am doing. I am trying to be honest on everything, but I get chastised for it.
Has it accomplished what you wanted it to accomplish?
Well, it opened people's eyes, and that is one of the things I wanted to accomplish. I made it a point to have it happen before the election. I wanted to expose this hypocrite. I wish our initiatives in Colorado would have went the other way, which is one of the reasons I brought it up, but they didn't.
What has changed most about your life recently?
Well, I don't have a job. What is blowing me away for the most part is when I walk down the street, or when I was in line to vote, people come up to me, hugging me and shaking my hand, and they are not just all gay people. I didn't do it to be a "hero," which some people are calling me. I'm uneasy with that word, but it's been humbling. It's just weird because I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be in this position.
Is it odd that people suddenly recognize you?
It is. When I'm going out to lunch people take second looks, like they know me and are trying to figure out where from.
What did you think when you first saw Ted Haggard on the news denying he knew you? At one point, he says, "What's the guy's name again?"
Yeah, that was amazing. With all the money and resources they have, I was shocked that he was speaking for himself. He has always done that, he has always wanted to be in the limelight. I mean, this is the church he built. He couldn't help himself and—you know what?—that's what did him in. The first time he said, "I don't know Mike Jones," I thought, Well, that's the easiest part to prove.
From what I heard on the audiotape, it sounded as if Haggard was desperate to connect with you. He sounded like he had a real passion for you. He was even willing to work around your schedule.
I've gotten many voice mails from him through the years, but I never kept them. I had no reason to, because I didn't know who he was. But I kept those last two messages, and they kind of got me in hot water, because he wanted me to score some more meth for him. Apparently he lost his other contact.
Are you sure he just wasn't interested in saving your soul?
Yes, I am certain. We never discussed religion at all.
People who use crystal meth usually end up doing it on a daily basis. So it seems improbable that he only did it with you once a month.
I don't know. All I can tell you is that once we were a year into the relationship, so to speak, he usually did it every time he saw me.
Do you think he was doing meth before you met him?
You know what's interesting? He acted stupid when he first got it, like, "How should I do it? What do I do with it?" And I was like, jeesh. I would fall into the trap and show him, like he was this innocent guy who was curious. But you know he is not stupid. That's the thing, he's not a stupid man, he just screwed up.
And a bad actor?
Could you tell if he was tweaking when you were together?
Well, kind of. He would get this weird glare in his eyes and he'd become much more sensual. When we were together it was usually for just an hour or so.
This is something I have always wondered about: closet cases with wives and children …
I have no doubt in my mind that they fantasize about men. That's the only way they can get it up.
Is it safe to assume that Haggard's a bottom? Maybe a power bottom, but a bottom nonetheless.
When people see him, the first impression is, Oh my god, he looks gay. When they were having the service at his church and reading his apology letter, all the reporters that were there came back to me and said, "You know what, Mike? It's really strange. All the guys that were up on stage were young, good-looking men."
Bottom, or power bottom? Well, let me just say … yes, bottom.
What turned Reverend Haggard on the most about you?
I think my body, for sure. Also, it probably didn't hurt that I'm pretty well-endowed.
Reverend James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, basically said he didn't have time to help save this man, who had been one of his closest friends—
Dobson doesn't want any connection with him. Since this happened, lots of people have asked me if I think [Haggard] is gay. My answer to that is yes.
Was Reverend Haggard kinky in bed?
I'm not going to comment too much on kinkiness, but I can say that he certainly did enjoy having sex with me.
Would you call him vanilla?
Well, for the most part, I would use the term vanilla. But I guess every once in a while you could throw some chocolate in.
Did he ever kiss you or act affectionately, or did he restrict his visits to sex?< br /> No, we kissed.
That's very sweet.
[LAUGHS] Well, I aim to please.
Did his personality change after you had sex?
I think sometimes there was some guilt, and he would get very quiet. Usually he'd just throw his clothes on and leave.
So the small talk became smaller?
Yeah, a lot of things became smaller.
Anything else of note?
Okay, I'll tell you one little tidbit, and I haven't said this too much so you are going to get a bit of an exclusive: He loved to have sex in the dark. We would have one little candle going.
I wonder if that's what he is referring to when he talks of his dark places.
Possibly. I want to tell you, when I listen to some of the cuts of some his sermons, the way he is talking and the stories he's telling, he is talking about his life … inside … totally.
What did you think of Haggard's apology letter?
The problem with his apology letter—and he is a brilliant writer, there is no doubt—is that he gives so little specifics. It's all generalities and all to tug the heart strings of his followers. I don't even know what he is talking about with his demons and dark side and dirt.
How much support have you received from gay political organizations?
What do you attribute that to?
I don't know, but I can tell you that I am disappointed—and kind of hurt. You know, I put my life, my body on the line to expose this guy, and I expected some support from these organizations. At the very least some concern or contact.
So no one from the Human Rights Campaign or The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has even called you? At the very least they could invite you to a chic cocktail party with David Geffen.
I'd be happier if they bought me a loaf of bread and some peanut butter.
Has anyone from the New Life Church thanked you for rescuing Reverend Haggard from crystal meth?
Oh, absolutely. When I was on a radio program down in Colorado Springs, they all thanked me. In fact, when I was checking into the hotel in Colorado Springs last night, the desk clerk, he goes, "Are you the Mike Jones of…." I answered, "Maybe." And he said, "I want you to know that I am from the New Life Church." And he extended his hand and said, "Thank you. You did us a service for Ted and our church so he can get the help he needs."
I interviewed Jeff Gannon recently. Do you know who he is?
Sounds familiar. The name rings a bell, but I don't know for sure.
He was a White House press reporter who found himself in a bit of scandal. I told him I was going to interview you and he had a question for me to ask: Now that the Marriage Amendment has passed in Colorado, don't you feel badly about destroying the lives of Ted Haggard and his family for nothing?
I don't regret a single thing I have done.
What do you do for a living now?
Right now I do nothing. Besides the escorting, which I stopped two years ago, I am a massage therapist, but I won't do that anymore because I am so afraid. I have had threats against me, so I am afraid of having anyone in my house. People keep calling me to say that I'll be sorry for what I have done.
Have you let the authorities know about these threats?
No, I'm trying to stay away from the authorities right now, since they're supposedly looking at me.
What would you have done differently if you had a chance to do this again?
I would have more of my ducks in a row. Before I decided to go public, I didn't discuss my idea with anybody but the TV station that broke the story. I really went into this with a naive attitude. I didn't realize that there'd be a giant backlash. I wasn't ready for the overwhelming amount of attention I'd receive…. I wasn't prepared for all this. But there's probably no way anyone could be.
Wall Street Journal once said that the only difference between Haggard and President Bush is that Haggard drives a Chevy, and Bush drives a Ford.