Jerry Falwell Jr. Sues Liberty University For ‘Damage To His Reputation’
Former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is suing the evangelical school after his ouster in August amid a series of embarrassing scandals, claiming that Liberty defamed him and breached his contract, according to NBC News.
"Mr. Falwell has suffered damage to his reputation, damage to his profession, humiliation, and anguish; lost business opportunities; and suffered other pecuniary damage," according to the plaintiff's complaint.
- Falwell was forced to resign after his former business partner, one-time hotel pool attendant Giancarlo Granda, told Reuters in August that he carried on an affair with Falwell’s wife for several years — and that Falwell sometimes like to watch them have sex.
- The lawsuit claims the allegations constituted “a malicious smear campaign,” and that “Liberty University not only accepted the salacious and baseless accusations against the Falwells at face value, but directly participated in the defamation.”
- However, Falwell has done a good job of ruining his own reputation, and not only owing to his history with Granda.
- Not long before Granda’s allegations became public, Falwell apologized for sharing a photo on Instagram that showed him with his pants unzipped, midsection showing, and his arm around a woman he said was his wife’s assistant.
- In addition, a friend of Falwell’s eldest son told Politico in late August that Falwell’s wife, Becki, “jumped into bed with him and performed oral sex on him while he stayed over at the Falwell home after a band practice with her eldest son in 2008.”
- He was 22 at the time, and claims that Becki “continued pursuing him, offering him gifts and engaging in banter through Facebook messages.”
- The former university president also faced allegations last year of having overseen a “culture of fear and self-dealing” at the school.
- Politico reported at the time:
Over the past year, Falwell, a prominent evangelical leader and supporter of President Donald Trump, has come under increasing scrutiny. News outlets have reported on business deals by Liberty University benefiting Falwell’s friends. Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen claimed that he had helped Falwell clean up racy “personal” photographs.
In interviews over the past eight months, they depicted how Falwell and his wife, Becki, consolidated power at Liberty University and how Falwell presides over a culture of self-dealing, directing university resources into projects and real estate deals in which his friends and family have stood to make personal financial gains. Among the previously unreported revelations are Falwell’s decision to hire his son Trey’s company to manage a shopping center owned by the university, Falwell’s advocacy for loans given by the university to his friends, and Falwell’s awarding university contracts to businesses owned by his friends.
- And finally, there is Falwell’s unwavering support for President Donald Trump. The disgraced evangelical leader, who endorsed Trump ahead of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, said in 2017 that “evangelicals have found their dream president” in Trump. And in 2018, when asked by The Washington Post if Trump could do anything to jeopardize his support, Falwell answered, “No.”
- As for Falwell's claim that it is the school his father founded which harmed his reputation, Liberty University said it "would need to read and review a lawsuit before making comment, and as of this moment we have not been served,” NBC News reported.