July 13, 2001: Jay Bakker speaks out about his controversial parents

Jay Bakker is the son of televangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker.
9:30 | 01/09/19

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Transcript for July 13, 2001: Jay Bakker speaks out about his controversial parents
What if you had rich and famous parents lived in a mansion appeared on television were adored by thousands of strangers. What kind of childhood would that be. And then what if suddenly it all changed into scandal ridicule. Well that was. They were mocked on late night TV is father was hauled off to jail in tears. Church change Jay's life. And now we tells Chris Cuomo sometimes the sins of the father are visited on the son. A lot of welcome to hair did you guys saying it's big screen they were Americans are waiting king and queen of televised religion. And he has their publicly adored prince. Oh yeah not mean yeah. You know. But privately his needs often took a backseat to his parents' ambitions. Where it's hard to face the reality. That you were too busy for euros or. Being Jim and Tammy Faye's son gave his earliest childhood one of privilege but as little teeny Charles grew into. His family's legacy became a liability he found difficult to bear. And crack in the right. But I duke at a well it children. What they had Philip. The burdens of his parents scandal nearly destroyed him. Now when an autobiography titled son of a preacher man Jay baker tells his story of battling to overcome his parents demons as well as his own. I see this book is a small step but also. A really important step putting things behind me closing the door. In his racket and even Jintao then. Once upon a time it looked like no doors would ever be close to the only son of Jim and Tammy sake. This car is part champ and happy. There ministry PTL. Was the most successful on television. We're trying to tell you that somebody cares about you. By preaching the promise of God's everlasting kingdom the bakers raised enough money to build a kingdom of their own. Called heritage USA if you're looking for fun or excitement or just relaxation. Ask somebody had to get to heritage USA part Christian retreat part amusement park heritage grew to attract six million visitors a year. In this is my playground. A member Christmas time and all the how there's hundreds and thousands of Christmas lights all over the place that there be. Six miles of traffic lined up pay them more than that outside of here to just to come see the Christmas lights staying Christmas. Karadzic's close now Dave and Jay is no longer welcome on the property that was once his legacy. But whose construction nearly caused the by security. Everyone who gives that thousand dollar gift to bill heritage USA chase parents had to take in half a million dollars a day. You know sever you can't give it a thousand dollars which you could give a 125. Dollars fundraising took priority over child rearing. Jim and Tammy Faye tried to compensate. Literally. It was definitely not the normal childhood. And that they got about everything they want it because. We also guilty of I have it acts but that all they had that there written it again. I mean I remember Christmas or he'd marked the Sears catalog. And then I just give the Sears catalog to my secretary just buy everything he circled. But in 1987. Everything changed. It'd take in millions of people to build the PTL empire worked at it would take just want to bring down. They said nothing about Jessica thing at all I spent fifteen minutes seven years ago in 1980 while in Florida for a fund raiser. Jim Baker left his daughter on the beach. I went to a motel. And had sex with Jessica high. Seven years later the revelation of that if they are would end up costing Jim Baker the PTL ministry. Destroy his marriage and turned Jay's parents and to a national Joseph. And it was really hard it is hard turn on Saturday driving monsoon content it only happened once it only took fifteen minutes. Excuse me but what took fifteen minutes. Just months. When you're young you're kidding you understand those type of thing you kind of now what's happening and why are they doing those what's going on so how did you deal would it what did you do. I drank or I'd party or do whatever you know distant. Get away from and I don't wanna be Jamie Charles any more than wanna be that little kid anymore I want to be. Something not someone to be someone asked. And things only got worse. Just thirteen. Jay watched on television as his father had a mental breakdown during his trial for selling time shares at heritage USA that didn't exist. He was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 45 years in prison. And then at sixteen on a prison visit Jay had to deliver some devastating news his mother wanted a divorce. What are you thinking it. Walking up in the prison to talk him knowing you have to deliver that news I'm hoping doesn't count so. That's when I was thinking this moms leaving. And I think there's about three hours silence there. At that moment but before he left Jay promise to his dead he would do everything he could to get amount of prison it was a promise his father says he kept. He took on the role of hero. He did. Opening of the hour with. He called his prevent illegal the president the United States he called. The people have put me in prison he called he called every minister in America. Eventually Jim Bakker got his sentence reduced and was released from prison. By now Jay was eighteen and an alcoholic. Having this father come home was the answer to his prayers but not his problems I expected to be just grand. You know dad gets Alessandro women and house I've got a drinking problem. We can get along we're fighting every day. A few months later Jay moved out for a while took his drinking problem on the road eventually settling in Atlanta. Jay says a pastor friend helped him realize what he needed to get sober the unconditional love of god. It was a realization that god loves me and doesn't have an expectation of me to be perfect and that just set me free for some reason. Overwhelming victories ars through Christ who loved us. With his wife at his side Jay has now gone into the family business. His revolution ministry is dedicated to preaching a message of God's unconditional love to kids who grew up feeling like outcasts. Kids like Jay himself. I thought the church has ignored. You know punk kids and pierced and tattooed people. For a long time and so we wanted to make a place for they can feel comfortable hangout when you look at Jay how do you feel about his appearance. Who who who who work cigarettes and it's probably the only thing about my son. Then if I could change I would change. Any chance of him. Winning you over to his side get a couple tattoos on his semi airing tell it not I got radical and Aqua Clara picked off. I couldn't help but perhaps the most radical thing about Jim Baker's son isn't his appearance or the message he preaches act. It's that through all of his family's turmoil bills the affair with Jessica Hahn the fraud conviction the divorce. Jay baker says he never lost faith in his father. I must say my father perfect I'm just saying my father did never plan to defraud anybody. Never was trying to steal money from anybody I'm saying my father genuinely had a Har. And love for people doesn't matter to you at a peep however believe that. At this point I don't care they've kicked us enough when we're down the teams to bother you I don't I get passionate about. But Jim Baker would probably applaud his son's most passionate fantasy. Deep down Jay Bakker has a shared dream would his father. One that would bring his life full circle and restore his family's legacy. Yeah. Every boy has a fancy to Phyllis father trained and that is. Yeah I I would love to come in here and do something very differently so you the next generation Jim Baker are you extending his mission. Feel like I'm taking something carrying something on. You know I know I'm helping him and just start PT on Ireland and become a televangelist or anything like. That in the past and what in my family's very passionate about Christ. Play. Good yeah. Yeah me.

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

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