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Prostitute Calls Evangelist “Perverted” With AM-Swaggart-Assemblies Bjt

February 26, 1988

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A tattooed prostitute who says she performed pornographic acts for evangelist Jimmy Swaggart but never had sex with him considers him ″kind of perverted″ and wouldn’t want him around her children.

The woman, who gave her name as Debra Murphree, told a New Orleans television station that Swaggart asked her to pose naked for him but that they never had sexual intercourse.

″To me, I think he’s kind of perverted or, you know, talking about some of the things that we talked about in the rooms, you know, I wouldn’t want him around my children,″ she said.

Joe Giardina, a reporter for WVUE-TV, said he traced the woman to West Palm Beach, Fla., where she has lived since October when Swaggart was photographed with her at a suburban New Orleans motel that rents beds by the hour.

Giardina said he interviewed her for an hour Wednesday, before she packed up and moved on to another hiding place with the man she currently stays with.

An arrest warrant for Murphree, who reportedly has a small cross tatooed on hr right arm and her name on her left, is outstanding in Louisiana. She is accused of skipping a court hearing on a charge of soliciting for prostitution.

Police in Tampa, Fla., reported that Murphree, 28, had been arrested in 1985 and 1986 for loitering for prostitution and soliciting for exposure. She was also known to them as Deborah Arlene Hedge, a native of Princeton, Ind.

In Indiana, the Evansville Courier reported Thursday that Murphree grew up in Patoka, just north of Princeton.

A woman who identified herself as Mrs. Hedge said Thursday in a telephone interview from Patoka that she was Ms. Murphree’s mother and was caring for her three children.

″She (Ms. Murphree) warned me it was coming out,″ said Mrs. Hedge. ″She called me on the phone and told me it was happening. But she wouldn’t tell me where she was or anything.″

Swaggart, 52, told his Baton Rouge congregation Sunday that he was guilty of unspecified sexual misconduct.

″He wanted me to get naked and maybe lay on the bed and pose for him,″ Murphree told Giardina.

″He asked me one time if I’d wanna ... He asked me if he could take me home and get dressed up in a dress or something, you know, no underwear and ride around you know and just, maybe in the evening, and take my clothes off and maybe get out of the car and just get back in and, you know, it sort of turned him on.″

Murphree said she had been meeting Swaggart for about a year in seedy motels along U.S. Highway 61 just outside New Orleans.

″I seen him drive down the street every week, you know,″ she said, ″and maybe sometimes he wouldn’t stop unless he knew I was there - maybe once or twice a month.″

Murphree said Swaggart did not use his name in their meetings but said she was sure she was with the famous television evangelist.

″I knew who he was,″ she said.

She was asked if they talked about God or religion.

″No. He’d talked about maybe, sometimes, you’d know he’d ask me when I was gonna be here because he had to go out of town and all on trips, whatever. He’d always say St. Louis, though. You know, because he didn’t want me to know,″ she said.

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