Jerry Falwell's Business Partner Said He Had Affair With Couple Spanning 7 Years
A business partner of now-suspended Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. claims he had a sexual relationship with Falwell and his wife that spanned a period of seven years, according to Reuters.
- “Giancarlo Granda says he was 20 when he met Jerry and Becki Falwell while working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in March 2012,” the news outlet wrote. “Starting that month and continuing into 2018, Granda told Reuters that the relationship involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.”
- Granda shared with Reuters “emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987.”
- He told the outlet in an interview: “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” adding that the liaisons occurred “multiple times per year.”
- Reuters reported that “Granda first emerged as a figure in the Falwells’ circle two years ago, when BuzzFeed News reported that the couple had befriended Granda and gone into business with him, buying a Miami Beach youth hostel in 2013.”
Becki Falwell did not respond to emails or phone and text messages from Reuters. After Reuters presented its initial reporting early last week to the Falwells, a lawyer for Jerry Falwell, Michael Bowe, said the evangelical leader “categorically denies everything you indicated you intend to publish about him.”
On Sunday night, however, as Reuters was preparing to publish this article, Jerry Falwell issued a statement to the Washington Examiner in which he said that his wife had had an affair with Granda and that Granda had been trying to extort money from the couple over the matter. Granda denies any such intent, saying he was seeking to negotiate a buyout from a business arrangement he says he had with the couple.
- Reuters noted that “Falwell, 58, took an indefinite leave of absence earlier this month from Liberty University, the Christian school he has run since 2007,” which “came days after Falwell posted, then deleted, an Instagram photo of himself with his pants unzipped, standing with his arm around a young woman whose pants were also partly undone.”
The material Granda showed to Reuters “includes screenshots from what Granda said was a FaceTime conversation he had with the Falwells in 2019,” the outlet reported.
During that call, Granda said, Becki was naked as the two discussed their relationship while Jerry peeked from behind a door. Reuters was able to verify Granda’s description of the screenshots.
Granda also shared an audio recording that he says captures a conversation he had with the Falwells in 2018. In it, Becki complained about Granda describing his relationships with other people: “He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something.” Jerry then chimed in: “You’re going to make her jealous.” “I’m not trying to do that,” Granda replied.
More recent communications indicate the relationship had gone south:
“Since you’re okay with ruining my life, I am going to take the kamikaze route,” Granda wrote to Jerry Falwell. “It really is a shame because I wanted to reach a peaceful resolution and just move on with our lives but if conflict is what you want, then so be it.”
In the same message string, Falwell replied: “You should by now understand that I will not be extorted. I have always treated you fairly and been restrained in response to your threats because I did not wish to ruin your life. Going forward, stop contacting me and my family.”
Granda told the outlet that he entered into the relationship with the Falwells willingly but has since come to believe they preyed on him.
“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,” Granda said.