Former Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., who resigned amid sex scandal, sues school for defamation

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Topline

Jerry Falwell Jr., the former president of Liberty University who resigned in August after a sex scandal was made public, continued Thursday by claiming that the Christian university had accepted “false allegations” about him without investigate to pressure him to resign, and that the institution had damaged his reputation, according to a statement.

Highlights

Falwell claimed that the actions of the university, which was founded by his father Jerry Falwell Sr., defamed him and amounted to breach of contract, according to the complaint filed with the Commonwealth of Virginia Circuit Court.

Falwell claims that statements made by the school after being forced to resign from the post he had held since 2007 “needlessly hurt and damaged his reputation”, and were made to “tarnish, downplay and outright destroy” the legacy and the reputation of his family.

Falwell alleges that statements from the university indicated that the allegations against him were true, although he says the school has not launched an independent investigation.

Liberty University said TBEN it has not yet been served

Key context

Falwell resigned in August after Reuters published an interview with Giancarlo Granda, who claimed to have had sex with Falwell and his wife, Becki Falwell. Granda told Reuters the relationship began when he met the Falwells in March 2012, when he was a 20-year-old pool attendant at a Miami hotel. He alleged that by 2018 he would have had sex with Becki “several times a year” while Falwell was watching. In the complaint, Falwell does not name Granda but claims that the allegations were made by someone who tried to extort his wife and him for years. Falwell alleges that the individual received money from Falwell’s political opponents, who he said likely included The Lincoln Project political action committee. Project Lincoln is led by former Republicans opposed to President Trump. Falwell endorsed Trump in 2016.

Tangent

As Reuters noted, Liberty University has a strict code of honor and stipulates that sex outside of marriage between a “born man” and a “born woman” is not allowed.

Further reading

Jerry Falwell, Jr. takes legal action against Liberty University

Falwells business partner claims their affair with evangelical couple lasted seven years (Reuters)

Jerry Falwell Jr. leaves Freedom University after resignation sparked by sex scandal (TBEN)