News and Commentary

Jerry Falwell Jr. Sues Liberty University, Claims Anti-Trump Groups Forced His Resignation
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. introduces US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally at Liberty University, the world's largest Christian university, in Lynchburg, Virginia, on January 18, 2016.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Jerry Falwell Jr., the former president of Liberty University who resigned amid a sex scandal, says he is now suing his former employer, alleging outside, anti-Trump forces were behind his ouster.

Falwell released a statement Thursday alleging Liberty took an accuser’s word over his and was persuaded by anti-Trump groups such as the Lincoln Project to force him out. Falwell said his lawsuit would include charges of defamation and breach of contract.

“Other than God and my family, there is nothing in the world I love more than Liberty University,” Falwell said, as reported by Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard. “I am saddened that University officials, with whom I have shared so much success and enjoyed such positive relationships, jumped to conclusions about the claims made against my character, failed to properly investigate them, and then damaged my reputation following my forced resignation.”

In August, The Daily Wire reported that a former pool boy who worked for Falwell and his wife, Becki, had been in a sexual relationship with the couple for years:

Giancarlo Granda, 29, told Reuters that his alleged relationship with Falwell and his wife, Becki, began when he was just 20, when he met them while working as a pool boy at Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in 2012. Granda said the trysts, which he claims involved Falwell watching as he had sex with his wife, continued until 2018. “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” he said.

Granda reportedly provided Reuters with evidence of the affair, which he said involved the trio getting together “multiple times per year.” Looking back, he also claimed the Falwells’ treatment of him was predatory, saying, “Whether it was immaturity, naïveté, instability, or a combination thereof, it was this ‘mindset’ that the Falwells likely detected in deciding that I was the ideal target for their sexual escapades.”

Falwell admitted in a statement that Granda had an affair with his wife but accused the former pool boy of blackmailing his family.

A statement regarding the lawsuit alleged Liberty’s belief in the allegations hurt Falwell’s reputation, the Examiner reported.

“These statements had the effect of affirming false claims that an individual made publicly against Mr. Falwell after years-long attempts at extortion against Falwell and his wife Becki. Based on research and investigation, this individual appears to be supported financially by political opponents of Mr. Falwell in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, likely including the anti-Trump political action committee called The Lincoln Project,” the statement said.

As Bedard reported, Falwell tried to fight back against the charges, but he was overwhelmed by the media attention, which he said stemmed from his support of President Donald Trump and forced him to resign.

In a statement, Falwell’s attorney, Robert Raskopf, said he and his client had tried to meet with Liberty University but were unable to do so.

“We attempted to meet several times with the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee but were unsuccessful in doing so. Thus, we were forced to seek remedy for Mr. Falwell’s ongoing injuries and damage to his reputation through the Court,” Raskopf said.

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