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Prostitute Going To Court For More Penthouse Pay For Swaggart Spread

January 11, 1990

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Debra Murphree, the tattooed prostitute who claimed her photos in Penthouse Magazine recreated poses evangelist Jimmy Swaggart paid to see, will be in court next month seeking more money from the magazine.

″The only problem my client has is an accounting problem with Penthouse. There are a lot of other people with other problems in the case however,″ said Louis Schultz, the attorney representing Murphree.

Penthouse paid Murphree or her agents about $210,000 for the photographs and article in the July 1988 Penthouse, Schultz said, as well as an initial fee of $75,000. Murphree’s deal called for her to receive 25 cents from each magazine sold over the 2,250,000 mark, Schultz said.

″In a Sept. 28, 1988 AP story out of Chicago, Penthouse claimed they sold out 4 million copies. So what we’re asking for is independent verification as to the amount that was sold. That’s a difference from $210,000 to $437,000 according to our figures,″ said Schultz.

Swaggart’s Baton Rouge-based religious empire was rocked by Murphree’s charges that he visited her weekly for a year at motels near New Orleans, paying her $20 to pose for him and perform sexual acts. Swaggart tearfully admitted to an unspecified ″moral failure.″ He was subsequently defrocked by the fundamentalist Assemblies of God.

The case, which is scheduled to be heard in U.S. District Court on Feb. 5, also involves two contracts Murphree signed with agents John Martinez and Bob Vernon.

Schultz also said the Internal Revenue Service claims Murphree, who he said is now a housewife in the midwest, owes them about 25 percent of the money Penthouse paid for the spread.

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