Falwell ‘Pool Boy’ Recalls First Meeting With The Falwells
In an interview with Politico, Giancarlo Granda recalled his first meeting with Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki, that Granda claims led to a years-long affair during which he and Becki would have sex and Falwell would sometimes watch.
- “The Liberty University president and his wife met Granda, then just 20 years old, in 2012 while the couple were staying at Miami Beach’s legendary Fontainebleau Hotel, where Granda was a pool attendant,” the news outlet reported. “A year after beginning what would become a seven-year affair, Granda said, the Falwells put up money for a Miami Beach youth hostel co-owned by Granda and the Falwells’ son Trey, according to Granda and incorporation documents.”
- Granda said his relationship with the Falwells began after their very first meeting, which took place at the Fontainebleau Hotel in 2012 while he worked there as a pool attendant. According to Granda, Becki approached him.
"During my work shift at the Fontainebleau Hotel in March 2012, I was chatting with some girls my age (20 at the time)," Granda told POLITICO. "Becki said, 'Those girls don’t know what they’re doing, you need someone with more experience.'"
After chatting, Granda said, Becki suggested they go to a hotel room.
"And then she goes, 'But one thing.' And I'm like, "Okay.' And she's like, 'My husband likes to watch.' And just then he comes out and he's wearing a Speedo."
- Over the next several years, “the Falwells would fly to Miami multiple times a year and Granda would visit the Falwells’ farm in Virginia, Granda told POLITICO.”
- Jerry Falwell would sometimes watch Granda and Becki have sex in person, while other times he would watch on tapes.
- “He enjoyed watching us in person and also remotely through video cameras. He also listened to our phone calls,” Granda told Politico.
Jerry Falwell denied participating in the affair in a statement on Sunday.
“During a vacation over eight years ago, Becki and I met an ambitious young man who was working at our hotel and was saving up his money to go to school,” Falwell wrote. “We encouraged him to pursue an education and a career and we were impressed by his initiative in suggesting a local real estate opportunity. My family members eventually made an investment in a local property, included him in the deal because he could play an active role in managing it, and became close with him and his family.
“Shortly thereafter, Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved — it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about. After I learned this, I lost 80 pounds and people who saw me regularly thought that I was physically unwell, when in reality I was just balancing how to be most supportive of Becki, who I love, while also reflecting and praying about whether there were ways I could have been more supportive of her and given her proper attention.”
“While we tried to distance ourselves from him over time, he unfortunately became increasingly angry and aggressive,” Jerry Falwell added. “Eventually, he began threatening to publicly reveal this secret relationship with Becki and to deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies.”
Granda told Politico that “while he had sometimes grown angry at the Falwells, the only money he attempted to obtain from them was payment for his share of the hostel deal, which the evangelical leader had promised him.”
- The surprise buyout offer came during “meeting at Loews Miami Beach Hotel in May 2015,” Granda said.
- He also said Falwell “mentioned something else that caught Granda's attention: Donald Trump, he said, was planning to run for president, a somewhat surprising move that would place the New York developer among roughly a dozen people contending for the GOP nomination.”
- Granda perceived the two matters as related, Politico reported: “Jerry Falwell was trying to remove evidence of his family’s ties to Granda in anticipation of getting involved in politics, which could invite greater scrutiny of his activities.”
- Though Granda ultimately agreed to a buyout, Falwell never actually went through with it and money never exchanged hands.
Granda said he decided to come forward and speak about the situation for a number of reasons, including his desire to break free from the Falwell family, his frustration over the amount of money paid to people to settle the dispute over the Miami hostel, and "yes, boiling frustration over the Falwell’s refusal to purchase my 24.9 percent equity stake" in the hostel.
Politico noted that Falwell told The Wall Street Journal that he would be stepping down as Liberty University president. Falwell previously was placed on leave after he posted then deleted a photo “of himself vacationing on a yacht with his pants unzipped and his arm around his wife’s assistant.”