After a confusing and chaotic 48 hours, Jerry Falwell Jr. confirmed Monday evening he has resigned from his position as president of Liberty University, according to ABC News and The Wall Street Journal.
Jerry Falwell Jr, who took over as president of Liberty University in 2007 after his father’s death, confirmed Monday night to ABC News that he had officially resigned.
Prior to Falwell officially submitting his letter of resignation and resigning his post, The Washington Post reported that Falwell had verbally agreed to resign, but then told his attorneys not to tender his official resignation letter, according to Liberty University general counsel David M. Corry.
Maggie Severns, a reporter for The Washington Post, tweeted that at this time Falwell told her he had “not resigned.” Liberty University then released a statement saying, “Jerry Falwell, Jr., agreed to resign as its President and from its Board of Directors, but following media reports about the resignation, withdrew it.” (RELATED: Jerry Falwell Jr. Denies Reports He’s Left Liberty After Saying Wife Had Affair Without His Involvement)
New: Jerry Falwell Jr. tells me he is NOT leaving his post, despite indications from Liberty that he will do so. “I have not resigned,” Falwell says.
— Maggie Severns (@MaggieSeverns) August 24, 2020
The battle over Jerry Falwell Jr.’s resignation came in the immediate wake of a report from Reuters that outlined a years-long sexual relationship the evangelical leader and his wife, Becki Falwell, engaged in with a pool attendant. The pool attendant, Giancarlo Granda, claims he met the Falwells in March of 2012 while working at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel and developed a sexual relationship with the controversial conservative couple later that month which continued to 2018.
Granda provided Reuters with evidence that proved the nature of this relationship, including texts and emails, and said that the relationship involved having sexual intercouse with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell watched. “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said. The sexual relationship ended when Granda and the Falwells fell into a business dispute, according to Reuters.
Exclusive: A business partner of Jerry Falwell Jr and his wife Becki shared text and audio messages with @Reuters, showing his relationship with the evangelical couple https://t.co/CCq99hpizy pic.twitter.com/l1K9w5kEQk
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 24, 2020
Granda’s perspective offers a different picture of the nature of this extra-marital relationship than offered by a Sunday statement from Jerry Falwell Jr. given to the Washington Examiner. In the statement, Jerry Falwell attests, “Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved.”
The former Liberty University president was placed on paid leave after Jerry Falwell Jr. posted a picture of him and his wife’s assistant with pants unzipped and bellies hanging out at a vacation costume party on instagram. Falwell’s underwear can be seen in the photo, as well as a glass of dark liquid Falwell insists is a “prop,” according to Politico.
Falwell faced backlash for the post as some critics levied charges of hypocrisy against Falwell for being the president of a university that promotes “appropriateness” and “modesty” in its dress code, per Politico. I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out,” Falwell said in response during an interview on the Morningline show on WLNI 105.9FM, a Lynchburg, Virginia radio station. (RELATED: Jerry Falwell Jr. To Take ‘Indefinite Leave’ From Liberty University)
However, in a phone call Monday night with the Wall Street Journal, after Falwell formally submitted his letter of recognition, he said, “the board put me on leave, took away my duties as prez, and that’s not permitted by my contract, and they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.” He also maintains he is still due his full compensation.