Jessica Hahn, the former church secretary whose encounter with Jim Bakker led to the PTL founder's downfall, will appear bare-breasted in a 10-page picture layout in the November issue of Playboy, a spokesman for the magazine confirmed yesterday.
Playboy spokesmen would not give the details, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the photographs show a topless Hahn in the water. In one picture, she is "floating on more than water wings" and in another, she is nude on a plastic dolphin, the newspaper said. The accompanying article in Playboy is titled "Jessica Hahn. Born again. In words and pictures," the Sun-Times said.
"These pictures are a celebration of a new life for me. A new beginning," Hahn reportedly explains in the magazine. "To do this ... is probably the most ironic, the most far-fetched idea for a church secretary."
Bill Page, a spokesman for Playboy in Chicago, confirmed that Hahn appears partially nude in the November issue. But Bruce Binkow, a Los Angeles spokesman for the magazine, said Playboy is trying to keep the story under wraps until it hits the stands Sept. 29. A second part to the Hahn story will run in the December issue, Binkow said.
Hahn, 28, has given dozens of interviews since disclosures last spring about her 1980 sexual encounter with Bakker and his $265,000 payment to her. More than once, she has tearfully asserted that all the publicity about her has ruined her life.
Meanwhile, in Fort Mill, S.C., the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who once vowed there would be "no more sideshows" on the PTL's religious programs, recited a popular children's prayer yesterday and then hurtled fully clothed down the ministry's 60-foot water slide to fulfil a fund-raising promise.
"Now I lay me down to sleep," Falwell said as he stretched out on the slide. "I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Oh, oh, oh my goodness ... Twenty-two million dollars -- was it worth it? Oh, oh, help."
Wearing a blue suit and tie, the 245-pound Falwell then swooshed down the slide on his back, his arms crossed on his chest, before a nationwide television audience viewing the beleaguered ministry's "PTL Show."
Falwell joked about the fact that his stunt at PTL's Heritage USA religious theme park came on the same day Pope John Paul II flew into Miami for an 11-day tour of the United States. "Can you imagine the fun -- split screen," Falwell said, "of the distinguished pope stepping off the plane from Rome in Miami and this nut, this Baptist preacher, coming down the water slide for $22 million."
After Bakker resigned in March, Falwell promised the PTL TV show would turn to serious evangelism. But the very next day, it featured a man who preached while balancing on a board over a barrel, juggling Indian clubs, with his wife perched on his shoulders.
In July, Falwell, a fundamentalist Baptist viewed with general suspicion by many of the PTL's charismatic Pentecostal followers, promised to go down the resort's water slide if 1,000 supporters would give the bankrupt ministry $1,000 apiece.
On Wednesday, meanwhile, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Rufus Reynolds ruled that the ministry could evict wheelchair-bound Kevin Whittum from the $1.5 million "Kevin's House" that was built at Heritage Village with PTL contributions, ostensibly to house a number of handicapped youngsters. But Reynolds said the ministry must provide "suitable alternative" quarters for Whittum, the adopted son of Bakker's cousin who lived in the home with his sister and parents.
Melvin Roberts, Whittum's lawyer, made an emotional plea to Reynolds to keep PTL officials from evicting him from the home, but PTL attorney Norman Roy Grutman said the ministry cannot afford to operate the four-bedroom home and would convert it to a bed-and-breakfast facility for visitor