Tax Probe Targets Hahn Ex-lovers Tell Of Church Secretary's Lavish Lifestyle

Posted: September 28, 1987

NEW YORK — A state grand jury is focusing on possible tax fraud in an investigation of the lavish lifestyles of Jessica Hahn and the Long Island preacher she served as secretary, the New York Post reported today.

Two people who identified themselves as Hahn's former lovers say they were called to testify before the grand jury in Albany last week, the Post said. They told the newspaper they testified that Hahn was in love with the preacher, the Rev. Gene Profeta of the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Massapequa, and that her lifestyle seemed far above what she could afford on her $80-a-week salary.

In an interview with the newspaper, one of the former lovers also said Hahn had told him she was not a virgin when she had the sexual encounter in a Florida motel with Jim Bakker that led to his resignation as head of the PTL evangelical empire. Hahn has repeatedly asserted she was a virgin at the time of the 1980 encounter.

"All of that is just a pack of lies," Hahn said today on ABC's "Good Morning America." "Where were these people that say they know me so well, where were they when I wanted to die, when I was on the brink of suicide?" She did not elaborate.

Profeta said he did not know either of the two men interviewed by the paper and that rumors of a romantic relationship between Hahn and him "are not true."

The two men, Barry Hawkins, 34, and Dinh Nguyen, 22, testified before the grand jury as part of an investigation being conducted by the tax investigations division of the state Department of Taxation and Finance and the state attorney general's office office, the paper said.

Hawkins, a musician who said he was married when he became Hahn's lover in 1984, told the Post that the questions were "purely financial."

"They asked me particular questions about Jessica Hahn and Gene Profeta," Hawkins said. "They wanted to know about their lifestyles and what my impression was of them."

Hawkins said he had been struck by how many "material things" Hahn possessed.

"Gold and diamonds and silk dresses - she was the most expensive-looking woman I've ever seen," he said. She was also generous, at one point buying him a $600 guitar, Hawkins said.

Hawkins also said Hahn told him she was not a virgin when she had sex with Bakker.

Nguyen said he met Hahn at a dinner party in July 1984, slept with her that night after "she started to play footsie with me under the table," eventually moved into a basement apartment in her building and continued the affair for a few months.

He also told the paper that Profeta stopped by Hahn's apartment ''sometimes four, five times a week."

Both he and Hawkins said Profeta confronted them about their relationships with Hahn.

Hawkins said his relationship with her ended when Profeta called him and told him to "stay away from Jessica" in what he said was "a threatening tone."

He added that Hahn "has been in love with Profeta for many years . . . He was all she wanted."

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