In 2012, evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Rebecca, met Giancarlo Granda, a pool attendant, at the Fontainebleau. Only a few short months later, the Falwells set up the young and handsome pool attendant as a manager and part-owner of a LGBT-friendly South Beach hostel. Granda had no management experience to speak of, according to the Miami Herald.
The Falwell-Granda relationship has spiraled into a political disaster. Lawsuits, threats, insinuations of fraud, and now naked photographs have trailed behind the fateful 2012 meeting.
Falwell was accused of asking for Trump’s now-imprisoned “fixer,” Michael Cohen, to assist him in 2015 to recover “personal” photographs. In a secretly taped conversation, Cohen told comedian Tom Arnold that he was asked to help recover the photographs.
“This report is not accurate,” Falwell told the Todd Starnes radio show. “There are no compromising or embarrassing photos of me.”
Perhaps there were no compromising or embarrassing photos of Jerry Falwell Jr., but there do seem to be compromising and embarrassing photos of his wife. The Miami Herald was shown three nude photographs of Rebecca Falwell.
Cohen’s mission to recover the photographs was preceded by Falwell’s endorsement of Trump in the 2016 election. Because Falwell had told candidate Ted Cruz that he would not endorse anyone, Cruz was surprised when Falwell did endorse Trump in January 2016.
“Clearly, something changed that led him to endorse Trump, and I would like to know what that was,’’ said Rick Tyler, former spokesman for Cruz.
In the conversation Cohen had with Arnold, Cohen denied that the photos could be linked to Granda. He said the images were likely taken from Jerry Falwell Jr.’s phone.
“They’re photos...between husband and wife,” Cohen says in a tape provided to the Herald by Arnold. Cohen, who had seen one of the pictures, said, “It’s terrible.”
“It’s happened to a couple of people I know, who are the wives of celebrities,” he says. ‘Their phones get hacked. They have private of themselves...My heart went out to Becky.”
Arnold answered, “You definitely brought the Falwells...I mean you did the deal with the pool boy.”
“Tom, you’re wrong about that,” Cohen said. “That’s not what it was about. That... I, spoke to, the pool boy or whatever he is — that story is not accurate.”
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