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CNN Larry King Live

Interview with Jessica Hahn

Aired July 14, 2005 - 21:00   ET


JIM BAKKER, EVANGELIST: I have never been involved with wife swapping. I am not a homosexual. And I've never been to a prostitute.

TAMMY FAYE BAKKER, WIFE: I've been telling the devil, you get away from Jim Baker.

JESSICA HAHN, SECRETARY FOR JIM BAKKER: If he wants to blow his head off, let him. I don't give a damn about Jim Bakker.

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jessica Hahn tells all about her sex scandal that helped bring down the empire of televangelist Jim Bakker, about posing topless for "Playboy," her battle with drug abuse, her thoughts on Jim Bakker and Tammie Faye today and more. It's Jessica Hahn for the hour. t's next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's great to see her again. It's been a long time. But Jessica Hahn is with us, looking fantastic. The former church secretary at the center of the sex scandal with former PTL leader Jim Baker has been called the woman who brought down PTL. She later posed topless for Playboy. She's become an overnight celebrity. She became that in 1987, when the news broke about a sex scandal involving her and Jim Bakker.

We're going to get to all of that. But first, tell me -- I know we've been at your house, the crew.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: What's this with the piano?

HAHN: Okay, so, first time I ever played the piano, I don't have a clue how to play. I never took a lesson. And one day, I met Liberace. It was when he was dying. Me and -- you know me and preachers, we get a long real well.

He needed some prayer and counseling. And I was taken along into New York. We took a limo. And I, Liberace and the preachers, went into a restaurant. I sat down. And I said, "You know what. I need to watch the playoffs. It was the Mets, 1986." I think it was Gary Garter? Is that correct?

KING: Gary Carter.

HAHN: Carter. Sorry. And he was -- it was one of those -- it was the Mets World Series.

KING: They won.

HAHN: Yes. And I needed to sit in the limo and watch it. And little did I know that Liberace, who -- he asked to be called Lee -- was inside with about six other men. And he said -- I said, "Listen, guys. I'll be in in minute. I need to watch this playoff. I need to see the Mets win." And when I finally saw the Mets win, I went in, and I realized that Liberace said we were waiting for you. We didn't want to order. And I felt very embarrassed.

KING: What does this have to do with the piano?

HAHN: I'll tell you in second, baby.

So anyway, he says to me -- he says to me, he says, "Jessica, we've been waiting for you to order." And he says, "Sit here." And I said, OK, I'll order anything -- I told the waiter, "Give me something salad. I don't care what it is." And Liberace -- he's a chef -- he ordered hot pepper fettucini. And I said -- you know, we were talking, and he had his big piano...

KING: Better get to the piano.

HAHN: I'm getting there.


HAHN: So he has a piano ring on. I said, "Listen, Lee." He asked to be called Lee. And I said, "Can you do me a favor? Can you touch my hands?" Because I really want to play the piano. He was very ill. He had AIDS. And he was meeting with some ministers for prayer. And we sat down, and...

KING: Did he touch your hands?

HAHN: ...we got our food, and I said, "Listen --" he goes, "Jessica, you're not going to be happy with that. Let's exchange." He goes, "I got the hot pepper fettucini."

We exchanged our food. And then after that, I began to eat his food, and I said, "Liberace, can you do me a favor?" He goes, "Call me Lee." He said, "I'm going to lay hands on you." I said, "I want to play like you do." And, I said, "Well, at least a little bit like you do." And he did. He touched my hands. And he had this beautiful piano ring on. And...

KING: And you went home and played. I'm trying to move it along.

HAHN: I'm moving it along. And soon after that, about a month later, he died. And I remember it was snowing out. And I sat down at the piano, and I was the only one who had the church key to the piano. And I began to play.

KING: Just like that. HAHN: I had never taken a lesson in my life.

KING: Do you think Liberace's spirit...

HAHN: Well, you know what, God only knows. I'm not going to...

KING: But you've never taken a lesson, and you play now for your own amusement?

HAHN: I just play because I love it.

KING: OK. We sent a crew to the house, right?

HAHN: Correct.

KING: Let's see what they saw.

HAHN: Okay.




HAHN: So anyway.

KING: No lessons?

HAHN: Not one. And you know what? I can't play Mary Had a Little Lamb. I can't play Twinkle. I can't play anything. I couldn't play the same thing twice. But I can play. And I just -- it's all by how my heart feels.

KING: You play pop songs?

HAHN: I can play -- if you asked me to play something, I couldn't. It's all just what I feel.

KING: You sit down and just feel.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: It's like jazz.

HAHN: Kind of like Yanni.

KING: Oh, like Yanni.

HAHN: A little bit like Yanni, you know.

KING: Do you think you might go professional?

HAHN: Well, Ronnie, who I've been with for 15 years...

KING: Yes, he's your... HAHN: He created "Married with Children."

KING: Is he your fiance?

HAHN: Yes. I've been with him 15 years. And he just suggested that -- let me put -- he set up all kind of recording studio stuff.

But, you know, I've never really played in front of anybody. You're the first person I played for.

KING: Do you want to play professionally?

HAHN: I would love to.

KING: Do you want to be a Miss Yanni?

HAHN: I would love that. I would love that.

You know what the thing is? Any time something happens in the news, like Natalee, I play, I feel. You know, a plane crashes, I feel. The war, I feel.

KING: Do you -- let's touch a lot of bases.

HAHN: Go for it.

KING: Do you -- will you ever live down the reputation?

HAHN: No. Never. People will always consider me a cartoon character, a bimbo. You know, they will never give me credit. They will always consider that I brought down an empire. And the thing is is that this isn't -- you know, Jim Bakker and -- oh, by the way, let me just make this very clear. Tammy Faye -- I have been trying desperately to get in touch with her.

KING: Have you ever spoken to her?

HAHN: No. And I've tried and tried and tried. I've called...

KING: To say what?

HAHN: To call her off the air. Because I want to wish her the best. I really -- I've got to tell you something, when I was 14- years-old, I used to watch them before I'd go into my own -- I used to work at a church. And they were on two hours every day.

And what I'd do is, I'd look at Tammy, and she'd be talking about making fudge, and she'd have her husband. And I thought, man, I wish I was in that family, you know, because I never knew my real dad. My family was so screwed up. And I thought, man, if only Tammy knew how much I really cared about her. I mean, she has nothing to do with any of this mess. And I really felt bad for her.

KING: For those people -- now this was almost 20 years.

HAHN: It was 1987.

KING: Yes.

HAHN: OK, actually, the incident happened in 1980.

KING: So, we're going back. And a lot of people watching may not know this story.


KING: Were you raped by Jim Bakker?

HAHN: Well, the question...

KING: What was the story?

HAHN: The thing that happened was, Jim -- Tammy Faye had -- well, the story goes, Tammy Faye was having an affair with the choir director or something like that. Jim Bakker came along. He said, "Jessica Hahn, listen. You're a virgin."

KING: Were you?

HAHN: Yes. As God as my witness. And he said -- I was working for a man in New York. He said, "Listen, we need a girl that we can trust." I used to be in the accounting room, and so forth and so on.

KING: You were how old now?

HAHN: I was 20-years-old. Raised in the church from 14 on. And so, what they did is sent me down to Florida -- Clearwater, Florida. And they said to me, Jessica, I need you to make Jim Bakker feel better and to watch...

KING: That's what church people said to you. Do you know that Tammy Faye was having this affair?

HAHN: No. I didn't know anything.

KING: But he...

HAHN: All I knew is that Tammy Faye was my idol. And so was Jim Bakker.

KING: So you get down to Clearwater.

HAHN: I go to them, and they say we need you to watch the kids. You know, they were there in Clearwater Beach, Florida. They were raising -- they were doing a telethon, and...

KING: Were you like the nanny?

HAHN: Yes. I was the nanny.

And so suddenly, Jim Bakker comes up and says, "Forget about the kids." The bodyguards are outside the door. He said, "Listen to me, Jessica. When you help the shepherd, you help the sheep." And he said, "My wife is having an affair with the choir director, and I need you right now to make me feel like a man." And I was a virgin. And people find that hard to believe, but when you're raised in a church at 14 on, that was just the way it is.

KING: Did you know...

HAHN: And also, he was a rock star. In my eyes, he was a rock star to me.

KING: Did you know when he meant?

HAHN: Who?

KING: Jim when he said...

HAHN: He was -- he was -- I thought, God, I'd do anything for God.

KING: We'll find out what she did right after this.

Our guest is Jessica Hahn, as we go to break. More of her newly found musical talent. Watch.



TAMMY FAYE MESSNER: I laid on the floor for three days and cried. I couldn't quit crying. I would have -- to me, Jim was a saint.

KING: Did you think...

MESSNER: He never looked at other women.

KING: Did you think there were others in the intervening of the 9 years?

MESSNER: You I didn't. I never once ever, ever -- because Jim wasn't a womanizer. He really was not. He was, I felt, very true to me.

KING: Why didn't you divorce him?

MESSNER: At the time? Because he was hurting too bad. He felt so horrible about it. And he was hurting so awful. And the world had turned their back on Jim. I couldn't go and turn my back on him, too.


KING: We're back with the infamous but interesting and never dull Jessica Hahn.

OK. Now, he comes into your motel room in Clearwater. Is that what happened? HAHN: What happened -- yes, we -- it was set up by a guy named John Fletcher, who's dead now. He admittedly -- this is a true -- he put something in my water or wine. We don't know.

KING: Fletcher did.

HAHN: John -- very good. John Fletcher.

KING: You just told me that.

HAHN: Yes. And what happened was, he set it up so that he could, you know, arrange it so Jim Bakker could have...

KING: Sex with you.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: And he potioned you, in a sense? He put in something in the water?

HAHN: Yes. And I was a virgin.

KING: And did you know what was going on?

HAHN: No. What it is is GHB.

And what it does is is your minds is like, oh my God, I know this is wrong, but your body just gives in.

KING: Date rape.

HAHN: Yes. So, Jim Bakker ripped off the bedspread and said, you know, my wife doesn't make me feel like a man anymore. And, you know, when you help the shepherd, you help the sheep. And so...

KING: Did you think you were performing -- what did you think while it was happening.

HAHN: I thought, I don't want to get pregnant, because, you know, I was a virgin, you know.

KING: Did it hurt? What was it like?

HAHN: It hurt like hell. And then, after that, John Fletcher comes in, who was the middle man, and said, you know, you can't just be with Jim Bakker. You've got to be with me. He threw me on the floor, head back. I had blood coming out of my back. And, you know, he just went nuts on me.

KING: Did you make charges right away?

HAHN: I kept quiet for eight years.

KING: Why?

HAHN: Because I did not -- my first quote was, I did not want to hurt the church. And Jim Bakker and I decided that we will not confirm nor deny it. But what happened was, Jim Bakker gave me $20,000 to get counseling. And what happened is...

KING: Did you have any sex during those eight years, or was it just once?


KING: Just that one night?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: One afternoon.

HAHN: Yes. It was like about 15 minutes, 20 minutes. And then I said, I'll keep quite because I love God. You know, my first quote was, I don't want to hurt God's people. Jim Bakker's quote was, I was set up by a female...

KING: Well, how did it come out?

HAHN: John Fletcher.

KING: And why did he...

HAHN: John Fletcher wanted to be Tammy Faye. In other words, he wanted to take over PTL. It was a huge empire.

KING: But even though he had raped you, John Fletcher revealed that you had slept with Jim Bakker?

HAHN: John Fletcher called up the "Charlotte Observer" and said, "Remember the name, Jessica Hahn." So...

KING: Even though he knew that he had done something...

HAHN: Yes, but Jim Bakker didn't know. Nobody else knew.


HAHN: You see what I'm saying? John Fletcher...

KING: But you could have told on Fletcher.

HAHN: I could have, but I didn't for eight years.

So when the "Charlotte Observer" called, they said Jessica, we found a check. I said, well....

KING: They had a check for $20,000.

HAHN: Yes. I said, look, it didn't happen. Well, they said, turn on CNN. I said, I don't accept that Jim Bakker told this story. They said, well, Jim Bakker just admitted that Jerry Falwell has taken over.

And Jerry Falwell is a snake. And what he did is promise Jim Bakker he would hold PTL for him, which was an empire, and...

KING: How did the story break in the paper about you and Jim Bakker?

HAHN: The story broke in the paper with John Fletcher calling Charlie Shepherd, who was working for the "Charlotte Observer".

KING: And he broke the story.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Well, what was it like for you then? Now, you're what, 28?

HAHN: I was 27. I was working for a preacher in Massapequa. He knew about it. And I just kind of hid. And there were satellites outside of my apartment. Howard Stern was the only one that was able to get through to me, because I didn't know -- I was green. I was like, all I knew was to walk my dog and, you know, go to church.

KING: In the subsequent years, did you have relationships? Did you date?

HAHN: No. I...

KING: You mean for eight years, you didn't do anything. Just work in the church.

HAHN: No. Yes, yes. I worked in the church.

KING: Did you think it would never come out?

HAHN: Yes. I thought this would be crazy if it came out. It would ruin the entire empire. And Jim Bakker had the largest church, aside from Disney World/Disney Land, he had the largest. Jerry Falwell came along and pretended he was going to protect Jim Bakker, and ended up stealing it.

KING: You think Jim got screwed, in a sense.

HAHN: I think Jim got screwed. And I got to tell you something else. I think Jim Bakker would have been a great preacher. Jim Bakker was very good at what he did. He just got caught up. I think Tammy Faye -- Tammy Faye I pray for every day. I really liked her. I wanted to be, like, in their family every day.

KING: All right. Jim Bakker has denied raping you. He talks of the incident as a sexual encounter. In his book, he said, "Most of all, I did not rape Jessica Hahn. The sexual encounter, for which we both are now famous, was completely consensual." He called her a professional who knew every...

HAHN: He's so full of crap.

KING: ... who knew every trick of the trade.

HAHN: How would I know that? First of all...

KING: I don't know.

HAHN: Let me tell you something. Jim Bakker, you've got to face me right now. He's got to face me. We need to get him on the phone, because I'll tell you right now, I never had sex. I was raised in the church. I raised my little brother. I've got to tell you one thing right now. I worshipped him because he was like a rock star, OK? When Jim Bakker called, I ran, because he was my idol. I watched him two hours every day before I went to work.

Jim Bakker -- what bothers me is he lies. And what happened is, Jim Bakker knows for a fact that I was virgin.

KING: And that something was put in your water?

HAHN: Or wine.

KING: Or wine.

OK, we'll take a break and be right back with more of Jessica Hahn on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

HAHN: Let's get him on the phone.

KING: Don't go away. We'll be right back.


KING: The incident with Jessica, how do you live with it now? Is it just a place in you?

J. BAKKER: God's grace. God's forgivness is the only thing. And, you know, I take full responsibility for the adultery. It was my fault. And, you know, no matter what went on, the man has to take responsibility. and I do.

KING: It's a simple as that. You goofed?

J. BAKKER: I goofed.




HAHN: I hate to see what's going to -- Jim Bakker wanted to blow his head off for Christianity's sake, why the hell didn't he just be upfront with his people in the first place? He's the preacher. When he passed out the offering plate, why didn't he say, hey, I need a new mink coat, or I need a new car? Why didn't he be honest? People would prefer honesty, you know, people probably would have still given it to him. But he made his bed. If he wants to blow his head off, let him. I don't give a damn about Jim Bakker.


KING: We're back with Jessica Hahn. Angry -- how do you feel about Jim Bakker now?

HAHN: Well, now, you know what you're saying to me is...

KING: You didn't know that he said that?


KING: You'd never heard that reported...

HAHN: Well, I heard...

KING: ...that he said it was consensual?

HAHN: Consensual my ass. Excuse me.

KING: It's OK. It's an accepted word.

HAHN: But what I'm trying to say is that he -- they arranged for me to come to Clearwater, Florida, to watch their children. We waved. We said hello. Jim Bakker walks in with his little itty-bitty shorts. He rips up the bed spread. He takes off my dress. And he lays me down on the bed.

I had never had sex until then. And what I'm trying to say is that this guy -- you know, it's typical preachers. They get a Bible, and they get a microphone, they got a three-piece suit.

KING: Why didn't you hate him and report it? I know you were attached to the church.

HAHN: Because you know why? You know why? Because my whole life was the church. And I didn't want people to -- you know, you know how many people's lives -- he had his own zip code. He had his own post office box. This man had an empire.

KING: OK, now, according to this, you received a settlement of $265,000 from PTL for your sons, but only got a small amount of the money.

HAHN: I received $265,000. And in the long-run, I asked that it be returned to the PTL partners. And it was.

KING: You got it and you gave it back?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Why?

HAHN: Because they's -- I went down to PTL. And I saw families, children, families all...

KING: Are losing money?

HAHN: Yes. They all lost their jobs.

Larry, this was a community. This was people who had their own post office, their own everything. They had everything. And it ended up that they all lost their jobs, and it's a ghost town.

And I've got to tell you one thing. Jim Bakker is an extremely talented preacher. If he would just, you know, get it together. Tammy Faye, I really like the woman, you know? I mean, I wanted to be her kid.

KING: Do you think you were given, then, hush money?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Yes, OK.

HAHN: Of course I was.

KING: Now, you returned it because you feel sorry for the people.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Now you're...

HAHN: And also I was threatened. I was told that -- I was told that, if I did not give -- I was told that, you know, "You need to give this money to certain attorneys and so forth, and that the next person" -- and get this, being Billy Graham's in the news, who I admire greatly, one of the lawyers, one of the so-called lawyers said, "Maybe we should go after Billy Graham." In other words, I was being used as a pawn.

KING: Like a sex pawn.

HAHN: Yes, exactly.

KING: In other words, you go out and make love with preachers? That would be your role?

HAHN: Honey, I didn't make love.

KING: What was it like to see yourself all over the news?

HAHN: It was very freaky. My mom died. My mom got sick of it. She stopped eating. She died in '89 of anorexia.

KING: How did you feel when eventually, long after this, Jim Bakker went to jail?

HAHN: What I felt is that Jim Bakker would be a lot more useful if he would have just kept on preaching and not...

KING: How did you feel when he went to jail?

HAHN: Well, actually, my mom died. I was kind of cheering. KING: Kind of what?

HAHN: Cheering.

KING: Glad he went to jail?

HAHN: Yes. I thought, you know, "Screw you," you know? You people, you know, you take advantage. You think -- they always told me they were above the law.

KING: Really?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: They used those words?

HAHN: As God as my witness, they said, "We're above the law. This is ridiculous. We're above the law. There's nothing you can do to us. You're just a church secretary."

KING: Let me get a break. And I'll find out how you feel when you see Jim and Tammy Faye now. They've been on this show many times since.


KING: We'll be right back with Jessica Hahn. Don't go away.


BAKKER: Please, don't do this to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move back, please. Move back.




BAKKER: I took all the blame, finally, because I realized all the mistakes I had made. I realized I had -- I had the affair. I'm the one who screwed up. And I left her out there by herself to literally face dying without a husband.


KING: We're back with Jessica Hahn.

All right, how do you feel when you see Jim and Tammy Faye? They're both married to other people now. You see them on -- they've been on this show quite a bit. You've seen them together. How do you feel when you look at them?

HAHN: I feel, you know, they did what they had to do. But Jim Bakker -- you know, it's sad because Charlotte, North Carolina, is a ghost town. Jerry Falwell, he went down that slide. He pretended -- you know, Jerry Falwell tried to -- what Jerry Falwell did was call me and say, "Jessica, I'm going to hide you out. Come over to my place. We'll hide you out."

KING: For what purpose?

HAHN: He didn't want me to talk. He wanted to do all the talking. He wanted to take over PTL. And I've got to agree with Tammy that Jerry Falwell was a snake in the grass.

KING: She's mad at him. You like Tammy?

HAHN: I like Tammy. Tammy Faye -- when I was working at my local church in Massapequa, I used to watch her two hours every morning while I was getting ready for work. She'd be talking about making fudge. I'd go: God, I wish I was her daughter.

KING: Why did you go kind of

HAHN: "Playboy?"

KING: "Playboy" and mansions posing nude?

HAHN: What was I going to do? What was I going to do?

KING: You became...

HAHN: I had $40 to my name. I was hiding. I was crawling on a floor in my apartment. I had nobody. All the preachers ran like hell, because they are all a bunch of, you know, babies and you know...

KING: So, did you contact Hefner?

HAHN: No. They contacted me. In fact, Guccione contacted me. He scared the hell out of me and then Hugh Hefner -- what happened with Hugh Hefner is I went to his place and ...

KING: Guccione contacted you for "Penthouse."

HAHN: Actually, Dominic Barber. He's -- you know, everybody's ...

KING: So you went to "Playboy."

HAHN: I went to "Playboy." We sat down with Hugh Hefner and he had just the most -- he was my church. He protected me. He told me get out of the hotel, come back to his place. I -- He was in suite number one, say, at the "Playboy" mansion. I lived there for a year. He put me in suite number two. He promised that I wouldn't have to do anything that I didn't want to do. He looked after me.

KING: No sexual favors.

HAHN: No sexual favors, alhough I did sleep with him.

KING: You slept with him?

HAHN: One time. But you know what? The guy is a gentlemen.

KING: Why did you pose nude?

HAHN: Because I had $40 to my name and I was scared to death and I...

KING: Did they pay you well?

HAHN: They paid me $1 million the first time and then, I did another layout and another layout and I swear to God, that was my church. Those guys, they never took advantage of me. They took care of me. They fed me. They protected me and I'd love to do it again.

KING: You look great.

HAHN: Thank you.

KING: They might. How old are you now? How old are you now?

HAHN: I'm in my 40s.

KING: OK. They do features on ...

HAHN: Yes. I mean, they did Farrah.

KING: Yes.

HAHN: You know? I'm younger than her.

KING: So you would pose nude again.

HAHN: I'd definitely pose nude again.

KING: You have no qualms about it.

HAHN: No qualms. I actually had my breasts done again. And ...

KING: Enlarged?

HAHN: You know. Just updated like new tires.

KING: So, you took advantage of your celebrity?

HAHN: Yes. You know what happened? Listen, Larry. The thing is this, is that nobody else is going to take care of you. You've got to take care of yourself and everybody is full of crap. Everybody promises you stuff and this and that.

KING: But of course, you didn't have to return the $250,000


KING: And then you could have stayed out of "Playboy."

HAHN: I paid my taxes, I took care of people. I gave a lot of money away and I met the greatest man of my life.

KING: Who is that?

HAHN: Ron Leavitt.

KING: How did you meet him?

HAHN: I auditioned -- he was the first man that took a chance with me on "Married With Children." Nobody would hire me for TV, not that they should.

KING: He produced that show or he ...

HAHN: He created "Married With Children." He actually created Fox. And 11 years it ran and he said: Jessica, come on in and audition. Nobody had the balls to do that.

KING: Is that how you met him?

HAHN: And the last day of my shoot, he said, Jessica, come on, how about a cup of coffee, maybe some dinner, and he was a complete gentleman and we have been together 15 years and I have never been more in love in my life.

KING: Did you appear on the show a lot?

HAHN: Yeah, I was Al Bundy's shoe groupie. You know. And between Ron Leavitt, Hugh Hefner -- I've got to tell you something: Church is great. It's great, but I've got to tell you, I found my church here. Hugh Hefner has been nothing but a gentleman. Ron Leavitt is -- been my...

KING: Do you have children?

HAHN: I don't have children.

KING: Did you want children?

HAHN: I would have liked children, but right now I have dogs.

KING: No desire to marry? You lived together all these years?

HAHN: I think someday me and Ronnie are going to marry. I really do.

KING: You told me during the break you want to do radio?

HAHN: Oh, radio is my first love thanks to Howard. I worked in radio in Arizona on...

KING: You hosted your own talk show?

HAHN: For a year. I hosted my own morning show and what I'd like to do is satellite. I have a partner, Lori (ph), and what I liked to do is just go on satellite and just talk about anything and everything. KING: Like XM or Sirius.

HAHN: XM, Sirius radio. Howard's got a great deal.

KING: Sirius. Yes. But when you're on satellite you can say anything and you can curse.

HAHN: I'm an open book.

KING: There's no control over it.

HAHN: I don't curse much, although I try not to -- But, yes. I pretty much have a story to tell and I'm open to anything and I think Sirius would be good to hire me.

KING: As you look at your life, are you a victim?

HAHN: No. No. No.

KING: What are you?

HAHN: What happened is, I just am -- I'm a victim of maybe circumstances, but look at how it worked out? I mean, I was a girl in Massapequa, New York. I grew up in Massapequa. I lived in a basement with one window. I grew up with -- I don't know my real dad. In fact, I called Florida on Father's Day to find out where my real father was buried. I've never even seen a picture.

KING: You know he's dead ...

HAHN: Yes, I found that out. He died in 1983. I don't -- my step-dad was an alcoholic. I am departed from my family, so...

KING: You have brothers, sisters?

HAHN: I have an older brother, an older sister and a younger brother who I love to death.

KING: But you don't see the older brothers.

HAHN: I don't see anybody, so I have no family. But I am not victim. I just -- I have so much great things going on.

KING: We'll be right back with Jessica Hahn. Don't go away.


HAHN: Take me shoe man!

AL BUNDY: How'd you get in here?

HAHN: A latter. It was haning outside your daughter's window.


AL BUNDY: Are you wearing anything under there? HAHN: Just a pair of high heels.

AL BUNDY: Now look here, miss. I won't stand that kind of behavior. This is a sex-free house and by God, it will be for the breast of my life.



KING: My crack production staff also tells me, Jessica, that you're quite into animals?

HAHN: Lord have mercy. Yes. So listen what I do: I have coyotes.

KING: Pet coyotes?

HAHN: No, no, no. In my backyard -- I live over a canyon. I feed them hot dogs. I have coyotes. I have crows. I have blue jays. I have squirrels. I have -- I had a black lab for 15 years that I just lost, but now I have a blue healer, an Australian shepherd. And I feed the birds relentlessly. I mean, we've got them all. I mean, I've got crows walking around. They look like they have cigars coming out of their mouth. They've got hot dogs. I've got squirrels...

KING: Are you happy?

HAHN: If I were an happier I'd have an orgasm. Sorry. I am very happy. Actually -- Yes. I'm happy. I just want to do a lot more, though, Larry. I want to talk to people. I want to let them know that, you know, life can really be bad, but you know what? You can come out of it. I was very depressed; very depressed.

KING: Treated for it?

HAHN: Treated for it. I --

KING: Take drugs for it?

HAHN: Yes. I went through rehab. I -- you know, in this town you have to be very thin and beautiful and stuff. And as I age, I just felt the pressure and so, I went on some drugs. I had home rehab and it was really hard, but you know, I just felt like: I've got to be thin, I've got to be thin, I've got to be perfect. And this town sucks because, you've just got to be perfect, you know what I mean? And it's not really what it's all about.

KING: But you've defeated it?

HAHN: Of course I have. Don't I always?

KING: You don't have to take drugs anymore?

HAHN: No. No. But I'll have a drink with you. No. I'm only kidding. No. I'm good. KING: Do you ever take narcotics of an illegal type?

HAHN: No. I used to. I got involved in cocaine, because I needed to lose weight. I felt the pressure living in here. I mean, there's no excuse, I just took it, you know, just to wake me up and keep me moving.

KING: So in the long run, looking back and ahead, do you consider what happened to you a kind of a break? In other words, in a sense it was bad, but you're famous

HAHN: Yes absolutely. Larry, I'm loving it. Absolutely.

KING: You got famous.

HAHN: Yes. Let's face facts: If I was still in Massapequa and nothing happened, you know, I'd still -- God knows, I'd probably be an old lady in a robe...

KING: You'd be married to Fredrick...

HAHN: God knows.

KING: With 16 children and a white fence...

HAHN: Yes, exactly. Walking around with broken slippers and robes and hair in curlers. But you know what? Through it all, the scandal happened and I made the best of it and if it had not been for that -- I kind of feel like in the end it was a blessing.

You know? I'm not an idiot. I made the best of it and I met some great people. I want to do more. I want to do radio and I want to do "Playboy." I want to do everything.

KING: You want to play piano professionally, too?

HAHN: I want to play piano.

KING: Do people recognize you, still recognize you. At the restaurant ...

HAHN: You know it's funny. Sometimes I feel like I can't get arrested and then sometimes people are like, Jess, come here, you know, and I love that. I think it's precious. Honestly, I don't -- I'm not Nicole Kidman. I'm not Tom Cruise, you know, but people are very gracious.

KING: Did Michael Jackson call you at the "Playboy" Mansion?

HAHN: Oh, yes.

KING: What for?

HAHN: We were in a -- we were sitting at the "Playboy" Mansion. Dr. Hoflin (ph) was his surgeon and mine. I've since had a new surgeon. KING: For plastic surgery?

HAHN: Yes. But he decided to call Michael Jackson. That was when he had Bubbles and Michael Jackson asked me to sign a "Playboy" and he said, "Jess, listen to me. I know it's going to be rough," because I was new to this. He goes, "I know it's going to be hard on you, but just understand one thing: It's all going to be OK. They are going to come like scavengers. The press is going to come after you, but it's going to be OK. And by the way, will you sign a "Playboy."" I said, "I'd be more than happy to."

I was -- and I've got to be honest. I am happy he is out.

KING: You were rooting for him.

HAHN: I am rooting for him because I feel like I've been blackmailed and I feel like that many times, people attack the well, you know, well-to-do people and they see an opportunity.

KING: You were in "A Taste of Playboy Personalities" DVD that featured Pamela Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith and others.

HAHN: I was?

KING: That's what my notes say.

HAHN: Well, I know that I did one "Playboy" video that after I went on Howard it sold out in two hours. I was the first to do that.

KING: You were nude?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: I mean, that...

HAHN: Nude wasn't the word.

KING: More than nude.

HAHN: Yes. I was nude. I was on horseback. I -- it was my life story, but in...

KING: Nude.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Wasn't that hard...

HAHN: Pam Anderson is great company.

KING: Wasn't it hard to take your clothes off?

HAHN: Not anymore. You know what? I really don't care. You know, once my mom passed away, I have nobody to -- I have nothing to -- I have nobody to answer to. It's great.

KING: In other words: What are they going to do to you, right?

HAHN: Yes, exactly. It's a free -- I told Hef one day, I said, "you know what, Hef? Listen. I know this sounds crazy, but when my mom died, it's the greatest freedom in the world." I loved her to pieces but you don't have to answer anybody anymore. And he goes, "you know what? I get that." And Hef -- Hugh Hefner is my idol.

KING: What did she die of?

HAHN: Anorexia.

KING: In other...?

HAHN: What happened was -- My mom died of anorexia because of -- she died in 1989 -- all the news crews, she couldn't accept it. She stopped eating and I also suffered from that, but obviously I am doing great.

KING: How did she feel about Jim Bakker?

HAHN: She despised him. She despised him, but she didn't understand the whole thing. I tried to explain: Mom, you know what? I went there because I thought his intentions were good. You know, but she -- what happened is she was -- somebody threw on her kitchen table, "Jessica Hahn was a female confederate, brought down PTL empire." She stopped eating and within months she died, at 54.

KING: Our guest is Jessica Hahn. Back with more after this. Don't go away.



KING: What are your feelings toward Jessica Hahn?

T. BAKKER: I have no ill feelings toward Jessica.

KING: None?

T. BAKKER: I really don't. If I had ill feelings, they'd be more towad Jim, because I feel the man -- the man ought to be the one responsible, especially if he has family, to stand up and say: No.


KING: We're back with Jessica Hahn. Now, I'm told this -- I forgot about it. Tammy Faye, on this program, in 1997 said that she talked to you

HAHN: She never talked to me.

KING: On a radio show and that you both ended up crying.

HAHN: That's a lie. I've never -- I wish. You know, her -- the only thing... KING: Did you call into a radio show that she was on or she call in...

HAHN: I've been on so much radio it's ridiculous.

KING: But you never talked to her.

HAHN: Never in my life. But what I do remember, is Tammy Faye saying -- you guys are going to love this -- Tammy Faye said, "I am so happy that Jessica Hahn is so ugly, because now I don't feel so bad." I have never talked to Tammy Faye Bakker in my life. In fact, I would love to, because I don't hold -- I mean, I was actually very ugly. I was ugly. I felt very insecure, but...

KING: You had great plastic surgery?

HAHN: Oh yes.

KING: Right?

HAHN: I had it again, too.

KING: I mean -- I know, you told me. But the old and the new are quite different.

HAHN: Yes. Very much so. But Tammy Faye said that she said -- Once I -- because there was a movie called "Fall From Grace" and Tammy Faye said, "I felt better once I saw her picture and saw she was ugly." And you know, of course what...

KING: You had to testify before a grand jury, right?

HAHN: Yes I did.

KING: What was that like?

HAHN: It was interesting. I -- you know, I tried to tell them what I knew, you know what I'm saying? And I've got to tell you something. One person that helped me, and I don't know how you feel about it, but Howard ...

KING: I'm fine. Tell the story.

HAHN: Good. Howard was the only one that was talking to me at the time and they were -- satelliates all outside my house and I didn't know anything. I was very green. You know, I didn't know anything.

KING: Well, he was using you, too. You were on his show, right?

HAHN: Yes. But we used each other.

KING: Used each other, right?

HAHN: Yes. He's somebody I look up to and I want to be like, but Tammy Faye said that -- she said that -- I spoke with Jessica and she's never spoken to me in her life.

KING: You ever have a romantic relationship with Howard?

HAHN: I wish. No.

KING: You do wish?

HAHN: No. We -- I met him when I was single and he was married. We've had a great friendship.

KING: Still have it?

HAHN: Yes. I would say yes.

KING: Don't talk to him or...

HAHN: We talk all the time. We talk on the phone occasionally. He's got a great woman.

KING: Do you do his show?

HAHN: Yes. Yes. He's got a girlfriend named Beth ...

KING: That show would get pretty raw a lot, right?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Rawkus and raw?

HAHN: Yes.

KING: And you went right with that?

HAHN: I went right with it. I just, you know -- it's funny, like I'm talking to you? The same thing me and you have -- we have -- don't worry, wife (ph). We have -- you know, like Howard and I would talk about things as if -- I would forget that there was an audience, you know? So we'd just talk.

KING: Didn't you ever question in all of this, your own morality?

HAHN: Yes. Very much so.

KING: As a -- you grew up in the church ...

HAHN: Yes.

KING: And now you're posing nude in "Playboy" and...

HAHN: Yes, but you know...

KING: ... Drugs and -- Did you ever say, what happened to me?

HAHN: You know what? It's like -- I grew up in a really abusive home. My dad used to flush my mother's head down the toilet. I was searching for something and I found it in church and then once they let me down -- they were kind of like my dad and once they let me down, I was so screwed up.

And once "Playboy" came to me, I said, you know what? What am I going to do? I have $40 to my name, all the preachers ran like little babies, you know? And I needed to pose in "Playboy" to make money.

KING: Do you believe in God?

HAHN: Oh yes. Yes. He's my best friend. I -- you know, people make fun of me about that, but yes.

KING: Why do you believe?

HAHN: I believe in God, because he is the only thing that kept me going. He's my best friend. I saw Billy Graham on the show and my God, he is my idol. I swear to God, I am so impressed with him.

KING: So through all this, you never questioned your belief in God?

HAHN: Never once. Billy Graham talks about how he doesn't judge people. You know, I don't either. You know, all I know is...

KING: Well you do a little.

HAHN: Well, some people I am just pissed at. But you know, I've got to ask God for forgiveness. But I've got to tell you one thing. I admire people like that who just go out and just do the right thing and they're not looking to screw people up. You know what I mean?

KING: Yes. Well, he's a good man.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: We'll be back with more moments with Jessica Hahn on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jessica Hahn. A couple of minutes left. You have experimented a lot. Have you ever experimented in lesbian relationships?

HAHN: No but, you know --

KING: You ever think or wanted to? I mean, you're a...

HAHN: Why would you ask me that?

KING: You're a risk taker -- because you're a risk taker and you're an experimenter and experimental people...

HAHN: I love all people.

KING: But you never tried that route? HAHN: No.

KING: OK. In a 1987 interview with "Playboy," you said, "I always wanted to be special. I hated being on the outside looking in. I still do. I always felt maybe there was something missing. I always felt very different."

HAHN: Mm-hmm.

KING: Even before all this?

HAHN: Yes. I always felt very different. I always felt like something was going to happen with me and that I needed to be prepared to take the challenge and I was ready for it.

And I also like the fact that I speak my mind and I don't have a rap. You know, I mean, there's so many people that go on interviews and they go, everything is wonderful, I love everybody, you know? You've got Tom Cruise going: Yes, I love everybody. I love Tom Cruise. Whatever, butever (ph).

But I'm just saying, people come on and they just say the same thing over and over again. I like the fact that I can just speak my heart and I will not turn away from any question.

KING: How is your health?

HAHN: My health is excellent. It's better than ever, actually.

KING: Are you ever tempted...

HAHN: I did have breast surgery.

KING: I know. You told me that.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: Are you ever tempted to cheat on your fiance?

HAHN: Oh God no. No. I don't have the energy. I really don't.

KING: Is that it -- it's energy now, right?

HAHN: Yes. You know what? I love Ronnie so much and he's given me the best life possible and what I wanted -- if I could, this is going to be the most absurd quote in the world. I wish to God I could provide -- I wish to God I could just...

KING: Provide what.

HAHN: I wish to God everybody could experience like an orgasm just like -- so they know how much they're loved. I know that sounds nuts.

KING: You're wishing orgasms on...

HAHN: I just wish that everybody could just experience.

KING: Well, I imagine a lot of poepl have experienced it.

HAHN: No. But I mean, I'm not saying -- I know it sounds nuts, but I mean, I wish everyone could just experience one moment of complete peace, love -- just like real love and then -- you know, I wish I could give it to them, but I can't. I'm loyal.

KING: All right. Let's run it down. You want to get on the radio again. You want to host your own show. You want to do XM or Sirius.

HAHN: Yes, I'd love to do satellite. I'd love to do any radio show actually and I have a girl, Laurie (ph), I'd love to work with.

KING: And you would play piano, like on...

HAHN: Piano is my favorite. You know, again, it's all about my heart.

KING: How about acting?

HAHN: Yes, of course. Who doesn't want to act in L.A.?

KING: Well didn't -- you've done a little bit of it...

HAHN: Yes. I've done -- I've done a lot of acting. You know, I'm not saying I'm the greatest, but yes. I'd love to act, I'd lvoe to sing...

KING: And you want to pose in "Playboy" again.

HAHN: Yes.

KING: So, Mr. Hefner if your...

HAHN: Hef, listen to me. You know, I mean, we did Farrah. You know, I could do one more layout before I hit the wall. I'm figuring I've got about two more years before I hit the wall.

KING: Do you think you're going to die young?

HAHN: I think I'm going to die...

KING: Usually people who lose parents young think that.

HAHN: No, I kind of think I'm going to live a long life as a punishment -- No. I've got a lot to do. I really do. I have got a lot to do and I think that I'm going to want to do that and I am not going to give up so easy.

KING: You travel a lot?

HAHN: I don't leave my house, Larry. I stay home. I feed the birds. I walk the dog. I love Ronnie.

KING: Why don't you go out more? Why don't you...

HAHN: I'm not a girl -- I'm a loner, but when -- I can talk to a million people, but one on one -- except for you, of course, because you're cute.

KING: I'm Larry. You just called me Chris. Who's Chris?

HAHN: I didn't say Chris.

KING: Did you say Chris?

HAHN: I said cute.

KING: Cute. Well, I'm deaf and you're cute.

HAHN: Yes. Exactly. Thanks so much, honey. I appreciate it.

KING: I like your nail polish.

HAHN: Thank you.

KING: Very nice.

Jessica Hahn: The former church secretary who brought down an empire.

HAHN: And might bring it back up.

KING: And might bring it back up. Who knows, she might start her own church. The Church of Jessica.

Next, NEWSNIGHT and Aaron Brown. Good night.