A former pool attendant turned business partner of Jerry Falwell Jr. claims he engaged in a years-long sexual relationship with the recently departed Liberty University president and his wife, stoking renewed controversy surrounding the leading Christian conservative figurehead and President Trump ally.
Falwell Jr. recently took an indefinite leave of absence from his position as president of Liberty … [+] University, one of the world’s largest Christian schools, after a long string of scandals.
In a Reuters report published Monday, Giancarlo Granda, who says he met the Falwells at age 20 while working as a pool attendant in a Miami Beach hotel, detailed a years-long relationship with the couple that involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell Jr. watched.
“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda, now 29-years-old, told Reuters, describing sexual encounters in hotels in Miami and New York, and at the couple’s Virginia home, “multiple times per year.”
After Reuters reached out to the Falwells about the claims, Jerry Falwell Jr. sent a 1,200-word statement to the Washington Examiner in which he said his wife had an engaged in an “inappropriate personal relationship” with Granda which he had used to try and extort money, but made no mention of his own involvement.
Granda’s connection to the Falwells made news in 2018 when Buzzfeed reported the details of a business they all launched together, which ended in a falling out and lawsuit in which Granda claimed he’d been wrongly cut out.
On Friday, Liberty University’s board of trustees said it had not yet made a decision “whether or not to retain Falwell as president” after he was put on “indefinite leave” on August 7.
The university did not respond to Forbes’s questions about how the Reuters report would impact the board’s decision, and Jerry Falwell’s lawyer Michael Bowe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Granda, who said he began the sexual relationship with the Falwells willingly the month he met them in March 2012, now says his “immaturity, naiveté, instability or a combination thereof” made him the “ideal target” for the Falwells, and he feels he was preyed upon.
Falwell came under the spotlight earlier this month after posting a picture of himself on a yacht while on vacation with his pants unzipped, his midriff hanging out, a drink in-hand and his arm around a woman.
The picture quickly drew accusations that Falwell was acting in a way that wouldn’t be tolerated for the students of his university, resulting in calls for his resignation from GOP lawmaker and former pastor Rep. Mark Walker, who said Falwell’s “ongoing behavior is appalling.” Falwell has been involved in several large controversies since taking over as president of Liberty University, a Christian college started by his father, Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., nearly 50 years ago. After offering a pivotal endorsement of Trump in the 2016 election, Falwell was criticized by students for silencing anti-Trump sentiments and creating a “culture of fear.” In a 2019 Politico exposé, Liberty staff alleged Falwell would discuss his sex life at work in graphic detail and show off photos of his wife “in provocative and sexual poses.” Falwell has also been criticized for photos that emerged of the Liberty president and members of his family partying at a Miami Beach nightclub in 2014 (his school did not allow co-ed dancing and drinking).
Update: This story has been updated to reflect the correct date that Granda said the relationship began, 2012.
“Jerry Falwell Jr. Put On ‘Indefinite Leave’ From Liberty University After Latest In Long String Of Scandals” (Forbes)
“Jerry Falwell Jr. And A Young Pool Attendant Launched A Business That Sparked A Bitter Dispute” (BuzzFeed News)
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