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Hahn Talks to Grand Jury About Bakker, Aftermath

September 21, 1987|Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jessica Hahn, whose 1980 tryst with evangelist Jim Bakker led to his resignation from the PTL ministry, testified today before a federal grand jury investigating PTL, "just trying to be as truthful as I can be."

"I'm just really drained and really tired," the former church secretary told reporters during a lunch break.

But when questions on the content of her testimony came up, her lawyer, Dominic Barbara, stopped the impromptu news conference.

He did say of the payments Hahn received, "She's always believed the money came from Mr. Bakker, not from the PTL ministry."

Hahn, of West Babylon, N.Y., has avoided publicity recently, awaiting the publication of an interview in Playboy magazine due out this week.

Hahn told reporters today that she posed for semi-nude pictures in Playboy and submitted to an interview with the magazine to "finally tell my side of the story."

Asked why she posed for the revealing pictures, she said: "When you see the story, you'll understand why. The pictures are as important as the story."

Barbara earlier said he expected her testimony to center on a financial settlement she received from Bakker rather than on the 1980 sexual encounter.

"I think most of the testimony will be about the events of 1984 and 1985 rather than 1980," Barbara said. The 1980 incident was "indisputable. Bakker has admitted it."

Barbara had said earlier that his client would testify as a government witness with a grant of limited immunity from prosecution.

"Jessica clearly considers it her responsibility to cooperate with the government in its investigation," he said after she was served with a subpoena.

Hahn, 28, has said previously that she agreed to accept $265,000 from PTL in exchange for her silence about the encounter with Bakker in a Florida hotel room but that she only received a small amount of the money before Bakker resigned and the payments were cut off.

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