COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — A young man who formerly attended New Life Church says then-pastor Ted Haggard performed a sex act in front of him in 2006 and sent him explicit text messages.
His hidden relationship with Haggard, the man said, was followed by a period of isolation, struggles with drinking, drugs and suicide attempts.
The latest allegations against Haggard, once an influential national evangelical leader, were reported Monday night by KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, which interviewed the man, now 25.
In a statement earlier Monday, Haggard apologized for his "inappropriate relationship" with the man, a former church volunteer, and said it did not involve physical contact. Haggard, 52, is married.
The pastor's dramatic fall began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard. Haggard confessed to undisclosed "sexual immorality" and resigned as president of the National Assn. of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church.
The new revelations involve Grant Haas, who told the TV station that he met Haggard in 2005 when he was 22. He said he told Haggard that he had been kicked out of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for "struggles with homosexuality."
"It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up and his whole attitude towards me changed," he told the station. Reached by text message Monday, Haas agreed to be identified by the Associated Press. Haggard's statement also identified him.
Haas said he contacted the church after the Haggard scandal in November 2006.
The church has said it struck a legal settlement with the man -- it has not named Haas -- in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship. Brady Boyd, Haggard's successor as pastor at New Life, called it "compassionate assistance -- certainly not hush money."
According to documents Haas provided KRDO, he is to be paid $179,000 through 2009. Haas claimed the church didn't follow through on promises to pay for counseling and medical treatment.
"Their main focus was, you know, cover it up, don't say anything," he said. "You'll regret it if you come forward."