Payback, as Jesus Christ once said, is a bitch. Nobody knows that like Pentecostal preacher Jimmy Swaggart, cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis and the onetime head of a televangelical media empire that took in $150 million a year. In the mid-1980s, more than 2 million saps tuned into the gospel according to Swaggart — who preached against devils like Ozzy Osbourne. Another object of his divine wrath was minister Marvin Gorman, whom Swaggart accused of coveting a fellow pastor’s wife. In turn, Gorman in sicced a P.I. on Swaggart, and in 1988 the holy hypocrite was caught in a Louisiana love-nest with prostitute Debra Murphree.
After apologizing in an apocalyptic on-air meltdown, Swaggart was allowed to keep his TV ministry. But three years later, the California Highway Patrol caught him in a car with a whore of Indio, CA. This time Swaggart refused to say “sorry,” and his family promptly exiled him. Amazingly, the 73-year-old with a hard-on for Armageddon and loose women continues to preach and record gospel albums. — Charles Bottomley