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Video: Pastor's alleged lover speaks out

msnbc.com
updated 11/3/2006 6:10:38 PM ET 2006-11-03T23:10:38

MSNBC's Rita Cosby interviewed Mike Jones, a gay escort from Denver who alleges he had sex with Rev. Ted Haggard, the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Below is a transcript of their conversation:

RITA COSBY, MSNBC HOST: Mike, you heard comments from Reverend Haggard. First, he says he bought meth from you one time, never used it with you and threw it away. What do you say?

MIKE JONES, ALLEGES GAY SEX WITH EVANGELIST: Well, that reminds me of -- we have to go back to Clinton. I smoked but I didn't inhale. It doesn't make sense at all. There's so many holes in his response. I don't understand why he wants to make comments like that.

It just doesn't make sense. I never sold him the meth. He contacted me three years ago as an escort. We got together about once a month for three years. I only found out who he was about six months ago. I had no idea who he was previously.

COSBY: Now you said you never sold him the meth. How did he get the meth?

JONES: About a year after we were together, he asked me, what do I know about meth, and I said, I personally don't use it, I don't care for it but I do have friends that like to use it. And he goes, well, I've always been curious about it. Do you think you could get me some? And I said, well, let me talk around and let me see what I can do for you.

I was able to find someone to connect with him so he could obtain some. I never personally provided it to him.

COSBY: And how often are you alleging that he was provided meth through this third party?

JONES: All I can tell you is he had some every time he visited me.

COSBY: And did you physically see him do meth? He says he did not, that he, you know, got it one time and threw it out. Did you physically see him do it.

JONES: I did.

COSBY: How many times?

JONES: Well, he would only snort once when he was with me.

COSBY: So you physically are saying you saw him do it physically once in front of you?

JONES: Well, once each time he visited me.

COSBY: So how many times altogether are you saying that he took meth?

JONES: Well, I'm saying probably about -- roughly two years.

COSBY: So you're saying almost once a month, every two years, you saw him in front of you snorting meth?

JONES: Yes.

COSBY: So you are talking about dozens upon dozens of times?

JONES: Well, once a month for two years -- I guess, you know, how many times that comes up to. Sometimes, I wouldn't see him for six weeks or so. I understand he was probably traveling or something. So I'm not saying it was once a month on the nose, but it averaged about that.

COSBY: So would it be accurate to say you're alleging -- what -- more than a dozen times at least you saw him snort meth?

JONES: Yes.

COSBY: For sure?

JONES: Yes.

COSBY: You know, Haggard says he also contacted you for a massage in a Denver hotel room, but he maintains it was just to get the drugs, that there was no sexual contact. What do you say about that reaction?

JONES: Well, that just doesn't make sense. First of all, I don't understand why he would say that he met me at a hotel room. He was trying to be so secretive, he would never have appeared in public around me ever. And so I never met him at a hotel room. He always came to my place. And as far as just a massage, hey, if that's what he wants to call it, you know, that's up to him.

COSBY: How many times are you claiming that you met with Reverend Haggard at your place to have sex?

JONES: For roughly once a month for three years, so I would say over 30 times.

COSBY: Do you have any proof that he actually paid for sex, that he actually hired a prostitute?

JONES: Do I have any proof, no. I mean, I have no proof that he paid me. I didn't fill him a transaction. I can only tell you that the last time he wanted to get together with me, he did send me an envelope that had two $100 bills in it.

COSBY: And I understand you have that envelope with you.

JONES: I do.

COSBY: But, again, that's just an envelope. Can you show us the envelope?

JONES: Well, I will show you the envelope. And the interesting thing is he always went by the name Art, which I understand now and I didn't know this. His middle name is Arthur, so now it kind of makes sense how he came up with the name Art.

COSBY: How did you find out that he is Reverend Haggard?

JONES: About six months ago I was watching -- this is the time the "Da Vinci Code" movie came out. I was watching the History Channel.

And they were doing a show on the anti-Christ, and all of a sudden his face shows up as an expert.

I didn't say that looks like Art. I go, "Oh my god, that's Art." I still didn't know who he was. The name of him appeared very quickly and disappeared that I did not catch it. So I told myself, you know, I'm going to purchase that particular program just to see.

But what happened is, the very next morning at 5:00 a.m. I was at the gym on the treadmill and the gym has various TV's that are on that usually have sports or news. And someone from the night before happened to have the religious channel on, and that morning there he was again.

And this time I saw his name.

Now, again, that meant nothing to me, but I wrote it down. I was curious and I went home that day and I pulled him up on the Internet.

And I have to tell you, I go, whoa.

COSBY: You know, Reverend Haggard is married, has a wife, has five kids. How did he tell you he was able to keep this a secret? I mean, he's a well-known guy, as you point out.

JONES: You know, he never talked -- the only thing he ever told me about his personal life, at one point, he did tell me he was married.

But he never -- we never talked a lot. Very little. He never discussed his personal life at all. He always contacted me. I never was able to contact him.

COSBY: Did he talk about his wife to you and how did he contact you?

JONES: He contacted me by phone. What is interesting, when he first contacted me, he told me he was Art from Kansas City, and for the first several months, it always came from a blocked number, from a caller I.D..

And as time went on, he would always call from pay phones. But as time went on, I discovered the area code was 719 which is Colorado Springs. And you know what? I figured it out then. I go, this guy is probably connected with the church somehow. But, frankly, I really didn't care.

COSBY: When did you end your relationship?

JONES: Well, there was no emotions in this relationship at all. It was strictly business.

COSBY: Strictly sex?

JONES: Strictly sex. And it ended in August.

COSBY: And why did it end?

JONES: I don't know. He just stopped calling me.

COSBY: Did anyone see the two of you together, like, coming into your place, your apartment?

JONES: I wouldn't know. I doubt it. The place I live is pretty hard for someone -- there's so many people in and out. But that's what I mean. He would never have went to a hotel to me. He always came to my place.

COSBY: How much was he paying you, you claim, for sex? What was the fee?

JONES: Generally it was $200. There was times where he would give me a little extra.

COSBY: And how much do you think over the years he gave you?

JONES: Well, I don't have my calculator handy, but whatever -- you know, let's say $210 a month roughly for three years. That's all I can tell you.

COSBY: Do you have any other evidence beyond the envelope, which is, obviously, just an envelope with the word "Art" on it? What other evidence do you have beyond what he's saying? He's admitting, as you just heard, that it was purchasing meth one time. What evidence do you have?

JONES: Well, the other evidence I have, I did have two voicemails.

And you have to understand yesterday he was denying he even knew me.

Then earlier this morning, he was admitting some of the allegations are true. The only reason he really came forward was he finally heard the voicemails, and it was his voice and he had to admit it.

COSBY: Why are you revealing this now? You know, here we are five days before a major election. A lot of people are wondering up what's up with the timing?

JONES: Well, I have to tell you, I've known about this for about six months and, you know, I really contemplated this. This was very agonizing for me. I was not sure what to do with this. The more I researched about him, the angrier I got.

COSBY: Were you ever paid off? Did any political party get to you?

JONES: I have made this decision myself. I didn't consult my friends or anybody. No organization, no group, did I consult with.

Nobody knew I was going to do this.


COSBY: And you failed a lied detector test this morning. Why do you think you failed? Why should we believe you?

JONES: Well, that's what interesting. I initiated the lie detector test and the questions they asked me were regarding sex -- nothing about drugs -- about sex. And that's why I don't understand why the test came back the way it did, because that is how he initially found out about me. It was for sex. I only advertise on gay Internet sites and gay newspapers.

COSBY: If Reverend Haggard is watching right now, what do you want to say to him?

JONES: You know, I want to tell him that I'm really sorry that he's in the position that he's in. You know, what this proves is we're all human. We all are sinners, but when you are in a position of authority and a role model for millions of people, you really need to practice what you preach.


And I hope that after this passes, he can continue for -- in the church, if that's what he chooses. And I wish the best for him, but I owe this to the gay community that has to put up with hypocrisy from the religious right because they want all the benefits in life but they don't want the gay community to have the same thing and it's simply wrong.

COSBY: You know, this could be criminal activity, hiring an escort. Are you planning to go to criminal authorities, my final question to you?

JONES: I am not.

COSBY: You won't. What if they ask for it? Will you hand over whatever you have?

JONES: Well, if I'm forced to, I guess I'll have to. But I don't want to pursue this any farther than what has transpired. I just think that the ball was truly in his court and I don't -- he needs to just quit dancing around it and just admit it and move on.

COSBY: Mike Jones, thank you very much for being with us. It was a very interesting interview. Thank you very much.

JONES: Thank you.

Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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