Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker ask other televangelist to helm PTL after scandal: Part 5

As news broke of Jim Bakker's sexual encounter with Jessica Hahn, Jerry Falwell took over as head of PTL ministry.
7:36 | 01/19/19

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker ask other televangelist to helm PTL after scandal: Part 5
Nicorette Mini. You know why. We know how. They had a flourishing TV show. They were pulling in money hand over fist. Last year ptl reported $129,000,000 in revenues. What we didn't realize was this would come to an end. I thought it would go on, you know, forever. What could possibly stop this perfect setup? How could anything get in the way of Jim and Tammy? There were a few things that were going to get in the way. Big things. In January of 1987 Tammy Faye had a breakdown. They left me in the house alone with Tammy, and that's when she started hallucinating. And I couldn't believe I'm there by myself with this lady and she'd taken her clothes off. And Tammy didn't do that kind of stuff around me. And I really felt I saw hell, Jim, I saw the other side. Oh, we all knew that she had some prescription drug problems. And I put my hands up like this and I said, in the name of Jesus you have no power over me Satan, I rebuke you in Jesus' name. It turned out that she was addicted to a number of prescription drugs. They rushed her on a flight to Palm Springs where she entered the Betty Ford center. The Bakker's appeared together on the air to announce that Tammy was being treated for long term drug addiction. We had to face some realities that Tammy Faye had been taking a lot of medications for a long long time. And then while they're in Palm Springs, all of this Jessica Hahn stuff explodes. I knew something was up. I mean, there were just, you know, whispers and, and those kinds of things. We heard this suggestion that we needed to talk to Jessica Hahn. Now, we didn't know who Jessica Hahn was. We didn't know how to spell her name. We just heard we should talk to her. "The Charlotte observer" was about to publish its expose about Jessica Hahn and Bakker's sexual encounter with her and the payoff that the ministry had funded. For six or seven years the world doesn't know about this. Jessica Hahn is paid some money and told to keep quiet. She still feels like her obligation to god or to her religion is to maintain silence. About the fact that she's been abused in the way she has. Any comments? I'm not going to comment. You have to leave. Think about a secret that's so traumatic that it is beyond PTSD, and it just ate Jessica alive for so long, and it was gossiped about. Eventually it got exposed. I'm sorry. I've got to go. Famous evangelist Jim Bakker caught up in a sex scandal. Bakker, who hosted the show with his wife Tammy, admitted he paid over $100,000 in hush money to cover up an illy sit love affair. He said he was being blackmailed because of a sexual encounter. It seemed unbelievable because we know Jim. We know Tammy. We -- this cannot happen. It can't be true. Well, eventually, it proved to be true. They go looking for a celebrity preacher who can step in and take Bakker's place until the scandal blows over. I mean it was such a huge valuable ministry. That at least somebody with, with a big following and, and a good reputation like Jerry Falwell could maybe step in and, and save that giant ministry. Jerry Falwell goes to palm Springs, and he meets with Jim and Tammy. In the wake of the revelations about Jessica Hahn, they reached out to Falwell, asking him to take the helm of ptl for a while while their issues were dealt with. And Jim Bakker and Jerry Falwell go into a room in the suite alone. Where Bakker said, I'd like you to take the helm of ptl and hold it together. I need to take some time with my wife and family. And when they come out they say that they have agreed that Jerry Falwell will take over as head of ptl. I don't know what people would say now. Like, "Never resign?" Jesus is the son of god. It's possible in 2019 he would have just tried to tough it out. He would have just counted on his natural charisma to get him through. Listen, our motors were on fire way before this. That ministry was not gonna survive. We were all exhausted. Jim was exhausted. Tammy was exhausted. And that was the beginning of him turning over at least at the time, his ministry to another preacher. I think Jim Bakker always thought he would get a second coming. He would get to come back and reclaim his heritage U.S.A. They would start a campaign called, forgiven in the aftermath of this that I think just tells you what they were hoping would happen. That Bakker would be forgiven by his followers and would be you know brought back you know and redeemed in some way. Show time. Jim and Tammy Faye sell their movie rights to a network. I have something to tell you I should have told you a long time ago. What? I committed adultery. Silly me, for a minute I was afraid this was about our taxes. And Bernadette Peters plays Tammy Faye, Kevin spacey plays Jim Bakker. Hi, we're short 100 monthly partners to meet our budget here in Memphis. Jim and Tammy really need Ya. It's funny, yet it's tragic because so many people were sucked in, taken in, gave over their money, gave over life savings, believed in these people. Do you worry about the investigations that are going on? No. Not at all. There's that old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And that can happen in politics, happen in business. And it can happen in Christian television. Do you worry you might go to jail? No. No. In fact, I think investigations are the best thing that could happen. History will prove the bakkers were honest people. And then all hell breaks loose. Depression

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

{"duration":"7:36","description":"As news broke of Jim Bakker's sexual encounter with Jessica Hahn, Jerry Falwell took over as head of PTL ministry.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/2020","id":"60482725","title":"Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker ask other televangelist to helm PTL after scandal: Part 5","url":"/2020/video/jim-tammy-faye-bakker-televangelist-helm-ptl-scandal-60482725"}