Jerry Falwell Jr. Will Take ‘Indefinite’ Leave of Absence from Liberty University after Uploading Racy Picture to Instagram

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

Jerry Falwell Jr. will take a leave of absence from Liberty University, where he serves as president, after uploading a photo of himself to Instagram in which he was pictured with pants unbuttoned standing next to an unknown woman.

“The Executive Committee of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees…met today and requested that Jerry Falwell, Jr. take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as President and Chancellor of Liberty University, to which he has agreed, effective immediately,” the university said in a statement.

The Instagram post was saved by Houston Chronicle religion reporter Robert Downen before Falwell deleted it.

“Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that’s just black water in my glass,” Falwell wrote in the post.

Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling,” Representative Mark Warner (R., N.C.), a former instructor at Liberty University, wrote on Twitter after the post surfaced. “I’m convinced Falwell should step down. None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and [Liberty University]  deserve better.”

Falwell was accused in 2019 of various improper business dealings while president of the university. Falwell was also pictured visiting a Miami nightclub, which university officials told Politico the pastor tried to suppress. One official accused Falwell of being “very, very vocal” regarding his “sex life,” and at least one employee said Falwell shared a racy picture 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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