From porn star to pastor: How this NY woman turned her life around

Crystal Bassette, a 33-year-old mother of three, starred in more than 100 adult films before leaving the industry for good.
6:25 | 03/14/17

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Transcript for From porn star to pastor: How this NY woman turned her life around
Tonight the story of crystal bisette, who was making six figures a year in the adult film industry before she decided to make a radical career shift. She became a pastor. Here's ABC's Diane Acevedo. Reporter: It's Sunday morning and crystal Bissette cannot be late to church. ??? I am free ??? Reporter: The 33-year-old mother of three and her husband David are the pastors here at new beginnings in upstate new York. ??? I am free to live for you ??? Reporter: While crystal seems to be a model Christian now, it's a relatively new role. Today we're going to talk about fight, flight, or freeze. And have faith. Reporter: Until three years ago, she was a porn star. Her screen name was nadya Hilton and she starred in over 100 adult films. At some point did it feel Normal and routine to you? Yeah. How do you feel about that now looking back? Shocked that my mind and my body died to that point where it just became like this Normal thing. Reporter: Crystal says it was also Normal for her to make up to $30,000 a month. Used to go to the playboy mansion all the time. That was like the starstruck thing. Meeting Hugh Hefner. I mean, it was -- it was glamorous at times. Reporter: Droeg up in upstate New York, crystal says she could never have predicted the twists and turns of her life. A teenager, I grew up, I was an honor roll student in high school, I was a varsity cheerleader. I was always active that way. Reporter: She got pregnant with her son Justin when she was just 16. So she started stripping to make money and moved to California to give her son a better life. We grew up poor, very poor. Were you trying to give him a life you never had? Yes, absolutely. I was like, I wanted to give him all the things -- I didn't have a snowmobile, I didn't have four-wheelers, I didn't have any of that stuff as a kid. Reporter: She says an agent discovered her and convinced her to try pornography. The first shoot was horrible. I was scared. I remember talking to a guy and he's like, you don't look like you really want to do this. And I was like, I don't know. I was so nervous. After the shoot I sat in the shower and I was bawling my eyes out crying for like two hours. Just sitting there. I just felt so gross and just I did dirty. You went back, why? I went back for money. Reporter: Soon she was a star. People recognize you all over the place. It was just weird. You know, because you just think about it. They're recognizing me because of something that is not talent. Reporter: But the money was rolling in. I would spend $3,000, $4,000 a week at the mall. Buying dumb stuff. Clothes, shoes. Reporter: Not even 30 years old, she had a house in malibu and a ferrari. Even her own nightclub back home. I quickly got sucked into it. You're making more and more money. You're spending more money. Reporter: Crystal says despite it all, she wasn't happy. I started taking painkillers. Hydrocodone and drinking alcohol to get through the scene, numbing myself. Reporter: She was also coming to grips with the sexual abuse she says she suffered as a child. I had a bad, abusive childhood, I was sexually abused by two different people as a child. How did you feel that that affected you? That I think is a huge impact on why I got into the adult industry. That I was constantly seeking for male attention. Attention I didn't get when I was a kid. Reporter: 2014, she drove home drunk. Got into a car crash, broke my nose, had stitches down the side of my face, totalled. What did you hit? Guardrail. I just went spinning, flipping. Reporter: It was a wakeup call and crystal started going to church with her sister. I actually started reading the bible when I was on the set. I was reading then. And I hated it. Reporter: She decided to leave the porn industry for good, getting through her final scenes was especially difficult. I hated it. Because I wasn't taking pain medicine or anything like that. Everything was sinking in. It was horrible. Reporter: Then she met the young pastor David baasette. I showed up there and I first noticed her. She was wearing these high heels that were like crazy big. And I looked at her, man, she's got it going on. And I'm like, too tall. Not interested. I'm a short guy. Reporter: He was worried she might be too tall for him. But wasn't that concerned about what she did for work. So the two started dating. And so you're a pastor, she's a porn star, that's kind of an unlikely pairing. Uh-huh. How did that come to be? What drew you to her? I like the fact that she was independent and very strong. And unfortunately probably hard to control. And I like that. So I was up for a challenge, I guess. Did it make it harder for you knowing crystal's past? Not at all. I don't -- listen, it's what Christ is about. Reporter: Armed with a degree and with David by her side, crystal slowly rebuilt her life. It took me a little while to find a job because your past keeps coming up. People know, oh, she's a porn star. So they weren't going to hire me. I got turned away by so many different jobs because of that. Reporter: She eventually landed a job as a legal assistant and she and David got married. Come here. Reporter: Their son Carter came along soon after. But crystal's past continued to haunt her. David said the negative attention they received forced him to leave his church. ??? I am free today ??? Reporter: A year later they decided to start their own. Why start your own church? Why not join another? Because we're called to. I didn't see that as my calling right away. I mean, I see it now. But I feel like I can help abused women in the adult industry. Preaching and being able to reach out to people that are broken and lost, it's a calling. You can't let that fear set in right away because you never know if it's something good that's happening. She said that past she tried so hard to shake is now an asset that helps her connect with people of all backgrounds. With us it's like there was no dgment. People felt free. Doesn't matter if you came through the doors with full-body piercings and tattoos. We didn't judge them. Everybody's got a past. ??? I am free to live for you ??? Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Diane Macedo in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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