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Jerry Falwell Jr. Backtracks after Resigning over Allegations of Sexual Improprieties, Liberty University Says

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., speaks during commencement ceremonies in Lynchburg, Va., May 11, 2019. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Editor’s Note 10:45 p.m.: Liberty University released a statement on Monday night saying Falwell was not resigning.

“On the first day of classes of Liberty University’s fall term, Jerry Falwell, Jr., agreed to resign as its President,” the university said, “but following media reports about the resignation, [he] with drew it.”

Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University on Monday, Religion News Service reported, following allegations that he and his wife had engaged in a sexual relationship with another man over a period of several years.

A former business associate of Falwell, Giancarlo Granda, revealed on Monday that he had carried on an affair with Falwell’s wife. Granda first began the relationship when he was 20 years old, while working as a pool attendant in March 2012 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. The relationship continued until 2018 after Granda and Falwell had a falling-out.

“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda told Reuters.

Falwell on Friday said that a former family friend had had an affair with Becki, but that he himself was “not involved.”

“Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved — it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about,” Falwell said in a statement. “After I learned this, I lost 80 pounds and people who saw me regularly thought that I was physically unwell, when in reality I was just balancing how to be most supportive of Becki, who I love, while also reflecting and praying about whether there were ways I could have been more supportive of her and given her proper attention.”

Falwell took a leave of absence from the university on August 7, after he uploaded a picture of himself to Instagram with pants unbuttoned and his arm around his wife Becki’s assistant. Allegations of sexual improprieties by Falwell have surfaced in the past, with one former official telling Politico that Falwell showed him racy pictures of his wife.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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