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Jessica Hahn Interview: “I am Not a Bimbo″

September 22, 1987 GMT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Jessica Hahn, who is testifying before a federal grand jury about hush money she received for a tryst with PTL founder Jim Bakker, says in a Playboy interview that ″two men had me in one day ... I hated every second of it.″

Miss Hahn, 28, gave her side of the 1980 encounter that led to Bakker’s downfall in a 31-page interview and photo spread including semi-nude pictures in the November issue of Playboy magazine.

The magazine goes on sale later this week, and Miss Hahn’s lawyer indicated today that she may have received $1 million from Playboy.

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″This is supposed to be the year of the bimbos, right? So let’s start with the fact that I am not a bimbo,″ Miss Hahn, a former church secretary from West Babylon, N.Y., said in the interview. ″I know that’s how people see me, but I am not what I’ve been made out to be - someone without thoughts or feelings or explanations. I am a human being.

″I was done in. I was hurt. The public does not know that I was used and manipulated and hurt - physically and emotionally. That was never brought out. And I’m doing it now, in a way I know would never get reported in a family newspaper.″

Asked in the interview about the sexual encounter with Bakker in a Florida motel room, Miss Hahn said: ″People use words like adultery and tryst and hush money. You know, two men had me in one day. I hated every second of it, and it has ruined my life. And I took hush money, all right - money to hush them up.″

Miss Hahn has said that when Bakker left, the minister who had introduced her to Bakker entered the room and forced himself on her.

Miss Hahn’s lawyer, Dominic Barbara of New York, told reporters outside the federal courthouse here that his client was testifying about possible IRS code violations by former PTL officials.

″The focus has been what we expected it to be before we got here - violation of the Internal Revenue code,″ said Barbara after his client went into the grand jury room at 10 a.m. ″She’s never been the target of an investigation, and she never will be.″

The proceedings of the grand jury are secret, and federal prosecutors have refused to talk about their investigation. Barbara said Miss Hahn has ″always believed the money came from Mr. Bakker, not from the PTL ministry.″

Asked how much money his client was paid for an interview and photo layout due out this week in Playboy magazine, Barbara said, ″I’m not going to deny $1 million.″

The lawyer said he and Miss Hahn would leave Charlotte today.

Barbara said people had approached Miss Hahn at her Charlotte hotel saying they supported her and her efforts to get a settlement from Bakker.

″A lot of people have been coming up to Jessica saying, ’You deserve to get what you did,‴ he said.

Earlier today, as she entered the federal courthouse for her second session before the grand jury, Miss Hahn said she had trouble sleeping Monday night.

″I have a lot on my mind and I’m concentrating on the grand jury,″ she said. ″That’s the only reason I’m here and the only thing I’m thinking about.″

Bakker resigned from PTL last March, disclosing his encounter with Miss Hahn. She said she agreed to accept $265,000 for her silence, but broke that silence when Bakker mentioned the encounter. The payments were stopped after that, and Barbara said she received $20,300.

Bakker and his top aides are under investigation for possible mail, wire and tax fraud in a federal probe focusing on how the $172 million television ministry raised and spent money. Miss Hahn is testifying under a limited grant of immunity from prosecution.

Miss Hahn, accompanied by Barbara as they pushed through a throng of news media reporters and photographers, said she wanted to return home. She had hoped to go home Monday, but the grand jury excused her for the afternoon and turned its attention to other matters.

Barbara said that testifying before the grand jury was ″very depressing″ for Miss Hahn.

″She said when walking to the courthouse that it was like living this horror all over again. It was scary to relive it again,″ he said Monday.

Investigators are trying to find out whether PTL officials conspired to falsify records - including those involving the Hahn settlement - to protect the ministry’s tax-exempt status. They also want to know whether Bakker declared as income on his tax returns all money PTL paid on his behalf - including the $265,000 for Miss Hahn.

California businessman Paul Roper, who was subpoenaed to testify about his knowledge of the payments to Miss Hahn, fled from reporters when he tried to leave the courthouse. Along with Roper, California minister John Stewart and Kansas contractor Roe Messner have been called to testify.