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03-19-09, 05:05 PM #1
Haggard, wife to appear on 'Divorce Court'
COLORADO SPRINGS — Ted and Gayle Haggard will be in divorce court today, but it's not what you might think.
The Haggards are in Los Angeles to tape an appearance on Universal Fox's "Divorce Court," which will be broadcast nationally on April 1.
The show's presiding judge, Lynn Toler, is interviewing the couple about how their marriage survived in the wake of the 2006 revelation that Haggard, founder and former pastor of New Life Church, was having a sexual relationship with a Denver male escort.
The Haggards say their marriage and Christian faith are stronger than ever, and they want people to know that divorce is not the answer.
"This is part of Ted's journey," Gayle Haggard said. "It's made him a better man. I see what has happened as a divine rescue."
Several weeks ago, "Divorce Court" producers asked the Haggards to appear on the show to talk about their marriage, executive producer Mark Koberg said. "Divorce Court" sometimes sets aside court drama to feature Toler's interview of a well-known married couple.
The Haggards will be paid an undisclosed amount for their appearance.
Their "Divorce Court" gig is the latest in a series of public appearances that began in January when Haggard made the rounds to promote an HBO documentary on his exile from Colorado Springs, which was part of an agreement with New Life Church following the 2006 scandal.Haggard appeared on such high-profile talk shows as the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Larry King Live."
In the coming months, he's scheduled to speak at prominent U.S. evangelical churches, and is mulling over public speaking offers from secular organizations, but he said he has no plans to start a church.
As for their "Divorce Court" appearance, the Haggards believe they have a lot to share about keeping a marriage together. After the scandal broke, Ted asked Gayle to divorce him.
"I told her life was going to be difficult for her, but if you divorce me, people will embrace you."
Biblical principals of forgiveness, compassion, steadfastness and her husband's genuine repentance helped Gayle through the darkest hours, she said, and she believes his struggles have deepened his Christian walk.
"I think he is better equipped to minister to people than ever before," she said.
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