Update: There’s now some confusion over whether Jerry Falwell Jr. really is resigning. Read more about that »
Jerry Falwell Jr., the prominent evangelical and president of Liberty University, resigned from his post Monday following a new wave of reports about sexual trysts involving Falwell, his wife Becki, and a former pool boy with whom they went into business.
The Washington Post and Religion News Service reported the news Monday evening, citing university sources. Monday was also the first day back to classes for Liberty students.
Giancarlo Granda, the former business partner, told Reuters in an article posted Monday that Falwell would watch while Granda had sex with Becki Falwell, an arrangement that went on for years.
“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda told Reuters. During the six-year relationship, Falwell had helmed the Evangelical university that expressly bans private interactions between unmarried members of the opposite sex.
On Sunday evening, Falwell had confirmed that his wife had had an affair with Granda, claiming that the former pool boy was using “false claims about the nature of the relationship” to blackmail the couple. Falwell was quick to add that the relationship was “something in which I was not involved.”
Falwell has been on “indefinite leave” from Liberty since August 7, a career change that came soon after he posted an Instagram picture of himself with his arm around another woman, both of them with their pants unzipped. He has said that the woman in the picture is his “wife’s assistant.”
Allegations about Falwell’s wife and Granda have long been circulating — President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen has alluded to work he did to keep racy pictures of Becki Falwell, that may have been in Granda’s possession, under wraps.
The deal allegedly was struck during the 2016 Republican primary, casting suspicion on Falwell’s full-throated endorsement of President Donald Trump at a critical moment for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) campaign.
Falwell was a magnet for more than scandals of a sexual nature, however. He gained infamy earlier this year for his insistence on welcoming students back to Liberty in the spring as the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the United States and most colleges shut their gates. He flirted with police action against reporters who wrote about that decision.
Soon after, he engendered rage and resignations of staff members after tweeting a picture of a mask emblazoned with someone in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and another in blackface, a taunt of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D).
And in 2015, he said during Liberty’s convocation that the San Bernadino, California shooting could have been prevented if people had guns to “end those Muslims before they walked in killing.”