January 2nd, 2012
10:11 AM ET
It’s been a while since preacher Ted Haggard made headlines.
You may recall that back in 2006, a male escort claimed he had sex with Haggard and that Haggard bought drugs from him. Haggard denied having sex with the man and said he only bought the drugs, but didn’t actually use them.
Either way, it did some serious damage to the then minister's image…for a while that is. "I went through a scandal five years ago, and most marital problems aren’t nearly as serious as that one was and we survived it,” Haggard said.
Not only did Haggard survive, but he now wants the world to know he is thriving. Audiences will soon see him, his wife and their kids on ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap.” So why would Haggard want to enter the spotlight again?
“So many people are fixated on the scandal as though it is the only thing in [our lives], and actually, that was not the only thing," he said. "We’ve been married 33 years. We’ve got wonderful children. We had a wonderful church life at New Life ministries for 22 years, and now at St. James Church. The kids were excited about the idea of communicating the current status of our life so that [viewers] could have some actual data instead of the symbolic imagery that I have become out there in some people’s lives.”
One thing is for sure: viewers will see Haggard in a very different light. Haggard and his wife switch living places with Gary Busey and his fiancée Steffanie in the first episode of “Celebrity Wife Swap,” which premieres on ABC January 3.
And if you think Haggard might have his hands full with or be seriously annoyed by Busey and his significant other, think again.
Haggard says he and his family really bonded with Busey’s fiancée. “She kept saying, 'You have been surviving for the past five years and it’s time for you to start thriving.' So she would not let us refer to the scandal,” said Haggard. “She resisted that and kept saying, 'You all are such a good family,' and, 'you’ve got to move forward and enjoy the resurrection that God has for you.'”
Encouraging words from Busey’s fiancée, who seems to be just as intriguing as Busey. “She ended up being a wonderful blessing to our children, and you will see the hilarious stuff that happens,” Haggard said.
Besides doing “Celebrity Wife Swap,” Haggard is still involved in the church, and loves to help people who have faced similar struggles.
“Very often when someone is going through a difficult time, they will call me. From some of the governors that have gotten in trouble to some of the movie people who have gotten in trouble," he said. “I’m more than happy to help people go through a crisis and consult with people on how to resurrect. I believe there is a resurrection in every one of us, and I do not believe that the worst moments of our lives need to or should define our lives.”
Haggard the crisis counselor? Now that might make an even better reality show than "Celebrity Wife Swap”!
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