Ted Haggard talks scandal, 'Celebrity Wife Swap'
January 2nd, 2012
10:11 AM ET

Ted Haggard talks scandal, 'Celebrity Wife Swap'

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”!

soundoff (96 Responses)
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    October 27, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. Clete

    Surprised that his wife didn't swap him out five years ago for someone with more class....like Jesse James.

    January 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sue

    I want to preface my comment by saying that I'm not a religious person and I don't go to church. Having said that, I want to say that I was very impressed by all of the people on the show. For once, there was a group of people who were able to do this show while remaining civil, kind, and compassionate. Ted, Gayle, Gary, and Steffanie are ALL godly people. They all have loving, tender hearts, and they seek to do good. God bless them all, and their children!

    January 4, 2012 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. kent

    Hypocrisy is a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess. That is very different from Haggard who has freely and publicly admitted his failings, sins.

    January 4, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. mikethespike

    ted's a walking, talking, sword swallowing creep show but a fine american!

    January 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Geoz

    That sound you hear is gaydar going off around the world as they open this photo.

    January 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rez

      Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, do itAnd do it, and do it, let's live it upAnd do it, and do it, and do it, do it, do itLet's do it, let's do it, let's do itWooooooooooohooooooooooooo I love the positivity in this post! I'm happy bcsauee you are happy! And as for your goals: you did great, a great weight loss and those miles? Well you and I know you'll catch up on that, we still have 11 months to go. And now that you're back: time to visit my blog again 🙂 I've missed you there too. Have a great weekend Heidi, you've made mine with this great post.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Coriolana

    So the neocon tried God and failed. Now he's doing reality shows. Snake oil, meet the salesman...

    January 3, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike Jones


    January 3, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Mike Jones, thanks for exposing this walking pustule for what he is. His only remorse is that he got caught, same as it is with all of the other closet-case self-hating hypocrites who give themselves away by their protestations even before they get revealed. I hope you have a good and happy life. In truth, I wish the same for Haggard too (but more for you)!

      January 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. WisdomVS

    Oh please... I seriously doubt Jesus would want him to do a program called Celebrity Wife Swap. Technically I don't think he even qualifies as a "celebrity".... more like... going to H*ll ex-Bible thumper! The program will probably get the lowest ratings ever.

    January 3, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Grumpster

    Oh, and I thought it would be Merle Haggard. Pheh...that'd be more interesting.

    January 3, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • fretlessbass

      Ha! I was hoping the same thing. I never even heard about this guy's scandal until just now. Some people are so full of themselves...

      January 3, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Sorry, but it isn't a wife swap unless they copulate. That's the rule. That has ALWAYS been the rule.

    January 3, 2012 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mary Davis

    Those without sin, go ahead, cast the first stone. Forgiveness is healing for everyone. Are you sure all of your sins
    are forgiven? There seems to be a lot of hate on this tonight. God forgives over and over again and so can I.The Bible teaches
    forgiveness. Mortal man is not perfect...............GOD is. May the new year teach all of us to open our hearts to forgiving
    others. If we cannot forgive...............our Heavenly Father will NOT forgive us. This is in the Bible many, many times. If we
    forgive, our Heavenly Father WILL forgive us. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Happy New Year to All!

    January 2, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Auth

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      August 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GoodGrief

    The cliff hangar will be that he swaps for the husband and not the wife.....new lows – yeah!

    January 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Austin

    To bad the TV show name "The Biggest Loser" is already taken.

    January 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kia jones

    Check out "The erotic gay Jock chronicles"


    January 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Frank James

    LIAR! THIEF! CHEATER! and he thinks god will let him into hevan? Burn in hell!

    January 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Mr Jimmy

    The show and the folks that partake in (and watch) this crap (as well as Haggard) are another brick in the ever extending wall called "The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  18. RIALgal

    Good grief!

    January 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Bob

    This is exactly why I left organized religion.
    Isn't this guy supposed to set an example for the flock?
    Wife swap? Are you kidding me? Haggard is a total buffoon. If
    there was any doubt concerning his lunacy there is absolutely no doubt now.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. teresa, ohio

    I think this is a great move for the Haggard family. We all have one pic in our minds of them and it's tragedy, but they have moved on and it looks like they're thriving. Sounds great !

    I do wonder something: if its WIFE swap, why is a fiancee on there? Just like the "housewives" series of shows.... why have on women that weren't Housewives, some were single and some were just kept women. Why cant shows be what they say they are?

    January 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Salahuddin

    Who cares ? Why don't people spend money and time on media that matters instead of watching this garbage? Two must reads for 2012 theruggedgent(dot)com, a blog started by a bunch of expats, and Along the Naktong, a novel by Joshua Lorenzo Newett abou the existential crisis the post modern individual finds themselves in.

    January 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  22. TopDaddy

    Hey Ted, come out, come out, whoever you are!

    January 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  23. For real?


    January 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Wait...

    Gary Busey is the less crazy one?

    Who would have guessed...

    January 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arch

      Seriously, how unreal is that? You have to be off the charts crazy to make Gary Busey look normal in comparison.

      January 3, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  25. Michael

    He is swapping his wife for a boy and an 8-ball.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Dub-stet

    Never thought there would be a forum that where Busey isn't the freakiest one.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  27. paul

    Wouldn't he want to swap his wife for a dude?

    January 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  28. klarg

    So which family is his boyfriend going to?

    January 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Sly Sadie

    Old Ted probably wishes he got Gary Busey for his swap, rather than his gal pal. Too bad the leaders of the evangelical faith don't practice what they preach. It seems the louder they scream about people being gay, the harder they fall when the truth comes out about their leaders. These so called leaders are such hypocrites.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Well, Sadie, not many people know this...but "evangelical" is an ancient Greek word that means "hypocrite"..

      January 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • kent

      Hypocrisy is a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess. Ted Haggrd admits his failings and tells the Truth that the God of Judaism and Christianity is willing and able to make us better than we were and are. We do not have to be trapped by our failures. Read the writings in the New Testament of the Bible, particularly the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John at http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew&version=NIV

      January 4, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  30. Miss Such-and-Such

    This is awesome!

    January 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  31. lovethedifferentcommentsystemsCNN

    why isn't he switching places with a gay couple? he should cameo on Breaking Bad when he has a chance as well!

    January 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  32. GAW

    Old Ted just loved to be in the spotlight...even before the scandal and now even after. It's like a drug for him. Perhaps worse than meth.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jeepers

    Much to his chagrin, Ted Haggard found out that he'd be swapping for another woman. Poor Ted.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Arlen Cooper

    What a disgraceful media we have that actually promotes the deviate behavior of a person who is an imposter, blasphemer, adulter, closet queen, unrepentant backslider, liar, et al... and only God knows what else. If he has or ever had a love for God in his life he would be so ashamed as to never show his face again. Ted Haggard has shown us what weak, sinful, deviate perverts (in sheeps' clothing), we have in our Churches posing as Christians leaders. Believers search the scriptures for yourself & learn to discern "The Spirit," for yourself.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • tiny

      So what else do we have to know about your Arlen?

      January 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • teresa, ohio

      well, if yer gonna git all bible-ish..... if "satan" wanted to get his hooks in someone, it would have to be someone who had alot of influence on people with "God". Ted was one of those.

      As Ted will attest to in a few more years: the greatest gift God could give him was the disaster he just lived through.
      Ted learned lessons one can only learn by falling, getting back up and experiencing himself. He is a much better person for his tribulations. You see, until that point in his life, Ted probably NEVER viewed himself as a "relatable" Sinner. Now he IS one and Knows the heart of a repentant Sinner. if ya git my drift?

      January 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob


      January 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  35. dwe44

    I love it: This religious nutjob actually saying that people can "have some actual data instead of the symbolic imagery..."

    January 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. madhater

    @Jack, can I throw it in Roxella?

    January 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  37. JJ

    Ted, STFU and crawl back into your hole. You disgust this country. If you want to serve, go cut grass at a church or something like that.

    January 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Widodo

      Gee, I wonder if the bararge of big petro-pharm drug ads on television has anything to do with it? Just last night while watching TV a series of four commercials came on, all four were for prescription drugs, for us to ask our doctor if we can have. Four out of four, and each one had it's own list of deadly, disgusting, or disturbing side effects what's wrong with this picture?

      August 14, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  38. Jack Van Impe

    Wife swap is defined by the bible as Adultery.
    Ted is breaking one of the Ten Commandments if he follows through with this show.
    God is angry with the wicked everyday. Ps 7:11

    January 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • max

      watch the show before u get all pompous. its not an actual wife swap moron.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sass

      Wow, all of the self righteousness. This dude has chosen to try to keep his marriage on track. His appearance on Wife Swap Is likely to make some money.....isn't that 'The American Way'? If we weren't so interested in building them up only to tear them down, perhaps we would remember that God is a forgiving being. Whatever, quit judging, its an ugly trait.

      January 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • v

      Sass: He may not have made money directly, but he got a whole lot of publicity in his quest to build his new church. Which after all is his main priority. Thus the disgust from others.

      And get off your high horse. Telling people how they should feel or respond to him IS JUDGING. See how that works?

      January 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Willow

    Maybe he would better enjoy doing a husband swap?

    January 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Anon

    Will he snort a line of coke off his gay lover's c@ck?

    January 2, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  41. Russ139

    Ted doesn't care what he does, so long as he's on TV, or at least in the news. The desire for fame trumps all – including his supposed faith.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • falconco

      He seeks fame, and cash, all in the name of religion. He's disgusting, and I don't know why his wife stays with him...must be the money, too.

      January 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  42. tony

    I'd like to see a story about an American actually manufacturing something physical and useful in the US that gets exported to other countries. With all those low-taxed "job creators" out there, you'd think there'd be millions of great stories like that to tell.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  43. tony

    Why is it that slime always seeks publicity? And then gets it from the equally slimy media?

    January 2, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  44. Big mega-churches preach hatred

    and then when they are caught doing the same sin, they turn on their own. Or like a good republican said:"Republicans eat their own."

    January 2, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  45. Sensible Joe

    Ted Haggard already swapped his wife - for a male escort and drug dealer. Who does he think he's fooling? It's about time he got honest with God, America and himself.He's lost all credibility as a Christian. What is it with these evangelicals, with their lust for money, power and celebrity, priorities so contrary to the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

    January 2, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • max

      and here i am thinking that he was forgiven. bunch of judgemental axxhats out in the christian community.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • P

      I agree, Joe.

      (To the reply – that's great he's forgiven. Too bad he's only sorry he got caught. The guy is still sick, still has a God complex, still puts his family last, still craves attention....all I see is a man who knows how to cover his butt.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  46. C. K. Justus

    Each to his or her own, they are the ones who will are responsible for their actions.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  47. blake

    Once again Mr. Haggard reveals very poor judgment.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  48. Pugwash

    My guess is he needs the money and the attention to get back into one of those big mega churches again. He's a gay closet slimeball who's lying to everyone.

    January 2, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • kent

      Your guess is wrong. Also ...
      Almost every religion in the world has some variation of the teaching that is in the Bible “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. " Jesus Christ. Give people a break, since we all need a break.

      January 4, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  49. Dave A.

    People who think they know god's will have enormous egos. It's that simple

    January 2, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  50. smith

    this guy really thinks we care.....he's gross to look at....

    January 2, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Freeman

      He is nasty looking, but his male escort was some kinda fine. Bet ol' Ted worked his junk but good with them big ol' horsey teeth!

      January 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  51. andrew

    Wife Swap is adultery. This is even worse than the first sin of paying a male escort for things he didn't do.
    Now Tim Haggard is going to go on International TV and commit adultery and be working agaisnt God's will. Some people don't understand the bible.
    Why a Pastor with a Bachelor in Christian religion wouldn't understand that what he is doing is against God's will?

    January 2, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • jiggerz

      he be a sik perverted basterd who beleeves youse beleeves there is a fergivin Got up there in the hozone

      January 2, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • t3chsupport

      Uuummm... you know it's not 'that' kind of wife swap, right?

      January 2, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Fame and money is more important than God's will.

      January 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • YourMom

      Your comment is the reason religious people need to be monitored at all times. Not only are you an idi0t, you think this has something to do with religion...it's television.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      How can "Wife Swap" be adultery? it is simply another reality show trying to earn money by getting viewers to watch dysfunctional people (and whatever personality disorders they have) try to cope in another environment of the same kind but with different "characters".

      January 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • elsie

      Hey Andrew, here's a clue: THEY DON'T TRADE BEDROOM PARTNERS. Just homes. He's not going to be sleeping with Gary Busey's wife or vice versa. It's just a catchy name for the show. if you don't know what the show's about, why would you jump to a conclusion like that?

      January 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Squirrel Meat

      elsie: Because religious people are mentally defective.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  52. EthanInBoston

    Just when you thought you've seen everything... Poor ole sad ole Ted and his family.

    I'm watching BBC from now on!

    January 2, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  53. Babooph

    Who is the guy he is swapping his wife for again..?

    January 2, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  54. kwitcherbellyakin

    Actually Eww, Hagard is a great story of redemption and how ALL his parishioners )so like more fB friends than anyone has) turned on him and all Ted had was his faith. How powerful is that~ GO TED!

    January 2, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      redemption? he's still gay

      January 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      You gotta love the Christians...when one of their own gets caught being a hypocrite it's all "redemption", "God's plan", and "forgiveness". Anyone not in the club so much as sneezes and it's "BURN IN HELL!"

      January 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      He's still dancing with Tina, I bet.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • PV!

      He ISN'T redeemed. He's just learned not to do it again, or not to get caught. He knows how he better act in order to keep the attention he craves. He's still fixated on himself. I watched Wife Swap. He actually compared himself to Jesus Christ. Sick. The guy is an evil, sick man with a Jesus complex. The worst part is how many people don't see that.

      January 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Eww

    Ted Hazard must be smoking crack again if he thinks anyone cares.

    January 2, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  56. Lean Green

    ...But at least they meet...

    January 2, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  57. Observer

    Liberal stooge meets Neocon stooge.

    January 2, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • kennykodak

      break out the limbo stick,
      "how low can you go?"

      January 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluebooster

      Best you can do is label and name-call? Pretty weak!

      January 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dirk Allen

      Hate to say it, but they're both completely conservative. Look it up, Observer.

      January 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker

      Hey! Maybe Ted could swap with a Kardashian, oh wait; they're mostly female like. Hey he could swap and take the plasticized step father! Maybe a few rounds of butt darts would skyrocket the ratings and these looser's need for media attentian

      January 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jyothi

      Excellent !-Wow, this sure is a lvoely bokeh!Your beautiful creation of light was seen in:1 post 2 awards ? pls tag: "ABokehOfLight"--------------------

      February 13, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |

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