In an audiotape posted on the Internet, Haggard suggests that the experience was tied to his downfall years later, ABC News reported.
"There I was, 50 years old, a conservative Republican, loving the word of God, an evangelical, born-again, spirit-filled, charismatic, all those things," he said. "But some of the things that were buried in the
depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade started to rage in my heart and mind."
Haggard resigned from the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and gave up his position as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after Mike Jones, a former male prostitute, went public with stories of sex and methamphetamine use. In the audiotape, Haggard acknowledged that he "sinned" but said some of the allegations were exaggerated.
"I'm very, very sorry that I sinned," he said. "My wife -- all my sin and shame fell on her. People treated her as if she had fallen. And my children -- they all went through carrying my shame."