By ASSOCIATED PRESS and REUTERS

Liberty University has filed a $10million civil lawsuit against its former president, Jerry Falwell Jr, accusing him of concealing his wife’s affair with a pool boy who tried to extort them, and failing to disclose his purported drinking problem. 

The complaint, filed on Thursday in Lynchburg Circuit Court, alleges that Falwell crafted a ‘well-resourced exit strategy’ from his role as president and chancellor in the form of a 2019 employment agreement while withholding from the school key details about a personal scandal involving his former pool attendant Giancarlo Granda that exploded into public view last year.

‘Despite his clear duties as an executive and officer at Liberty, Falwell Jr. chose personal protection,’ the lawsuit says.

Giancarlo Granda befriended the Falwells in 2012 and then began a years-long affair with Becki. He claimed Jerry Jr would watch as they had sex in hotel rooms 

In October, Falwell had sued Liberty for defamation, saying it damaged his reputation by lending credence to what he called Granda’s ‘lies.’ He dropped that lawsuit in December. 

Liberty University filed its complaint on the same day Politico revealed that Falwell’s son Trey has been ousted from his $234,000-a-year job as vice president at the Christian conservative college that was founded by his grandfather.

Giancarlo Granda, circled left, with Becki and Jerry Falwell Jr, circled right, and family on trip to Washington DC in 2018

It is unclear why Trey left, and whether he did so voluntarily.

Liberty University’s lawsuit alleges that Falwell failed to disclose and address ‘the issue of his personal impairment by alcohol’ and has refused to fully return Liberty’s confidential information and other personal property. 

Falwell’s departure from the Virginia university in August 2020 came soon after Granda, a one-time Miami pool boy-turned-business partner of the Falwell family, said he had a yearslong sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife, Becki Falwell, and that Jerry participated in some of the liaisons as a voyeur.

Although the Falwells acknowledged that Granda and Becki Falwell had an affair, Jerry Falwell denied any participation. The couple alleged that Granda sought to extort them by threatening to reveal the relationship.

The lawsuit says that Falwell had a ‘fiduciary duty to disclose Granda’s extortive actions, and to disclose the potential for serious harm to Liberty.’

While at Liberty, Falwell had become a force in American conservative politics, and his endorsement of Donald Trump in the
2016 US presidential race helped win over evangelicals in a crowded Republican field.

Instead, Falwell ‘furthered the conspiracy of silence and negotiated a 2019 Employment Agreement that contained a higher salary from Liberty,’ the suit said. 

Liberty further claimed that Falwell improperly mixed his university duties with his personal life despite knowing that ‘infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct expected of leaders at Liberty.’

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