Law & the Courts

Liberty University Sues Jerry Falwell Jr. for $10 Million

Then-Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks during the school’s commencement ceremony in Lynchburg, Va., May 11, 2019. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Liberty University is suing its former president, Jerry Falwell Jr., for $10 million, alleging he hid misconduct from the university board.

The complaint says Falwell “fashioned a deceitful scheme to manipulate the Executive Committee of Liberty” during contract negotiations in 2019. The university accuses Falwell of hiding his relationship with Giancarlo Granda, who Falwell alleged attempted to extort him by threatening to reveal his sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife Becki. Additionally, Falwell is accused of hiding “his personal impairment by alcohol.”

Falwell did not immediately comment on the suit when contacted by the New York Times. Liberty University spokesman Scott Lamb said he had no comment.

The suit also alleges that Falwell “improperly and errantly” told reporters that the university owed him $10.5 million following his departure, and that Falwell conducted university business via a private email account and personal devices.

Falwell took a leave of absence from Liberty University on August 7, 2020, after he uploaded a photo to Instagram of himself and Becki’s assistant with pants unbuttoned on board a yacht.

Falwell later resigned from the university following reports that Granda carried on a sexual relationship with him and his wife.

Granda said that he carried on an affair with Becki Falwell from 2012 through 2018, alleging that Jerry Falwell “enjoyed watching from the corner of the room.” Falwell has denied that he was intimately involved in the affair, but acknowledged that he knew of the relationship.

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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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