COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard says in a new documentary that he still struggles with his sexuality yet is committed to his marriage for the sake of his children.
Haggard, 52, resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was fired as senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs in November 2006 after a former male prostitute went public with allegations that Haggard paid him for sex and used methamphetamine.
A father of five, Haggard had said he bought the drugs but never used them. He confessed to undisclosed "sexual immorality" and has said, "I really did sin."
The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported Thursday that in the documentary, Haggard talks about a lifelong battle with his sexuality — and that he never claimed to be heterosexual.
"The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me. And that happened and more," he says.
Haggard's wife, Gayle, says she is committed to Haggard.
"I know to restore the honor to our children is to help restore honor to their father," she says.
"The Trials of Ted Haggard," directed by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is set to air Jan. 29 on HBO. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Haggard has agreed to promote the documentary.
Haggard moved his family to Arizona after the scandal and also lived in Texas. He re-emerged last month at a rural Illinois church, where he delivered guest sermons and said he was sexually abused as a second-grader.
He now sells insurance and, in the documentary, says he isn't successful.
"At this stage in my life, I am a loser," he says.