Falwell Jr. apologizes for posting party photo with pants unzipped and arm around scantily clad woman
by Jordyn Pair · Aug 6th, 2020 11:15 am Last Updated Aug 7th, 2020 at 5:50 pm
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said on Wednesday that he had apologized for posting a photo of him with his arm around a woman who is not his wife, both with unzipped pants, although he defended the incident as part of a “costume party.”
The now-deleted photo shows Falwell standing beside a woman, who is wearing a cropped shirt and unbuttoned shorts, with his arm around her. Falwell also has unbuttoned shorts, and his underwear is showing. The photo appears to be on board a yacht.
The picture quickly drew backlash because Liberty University prohibits students from having sexual relations outside of marriage and consuming media with lewd lyrics, sexual content, and nudity. The university also requires students to dress modestly.
“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell said in an interview on a local radio station in Lynchburg, Virginia, the home of the university. “And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be — I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”
Falwell said that the woman in the photo is his wife’s assistant. He also tagged the photo of the woman as Kathleen Stone, who said on her profile that she works for Liberty University.
“She’s a sweetheart and I should never have put it up and embarrassed her,” Falwell said.
Falwell said that she had her pants unzipped because she is pregnant.
“She’s pregnant so she couldn’t get her — she couldn’t get her pants up,” Falwell said. “And I was like, trying to like — my — I had on pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either. And so — and so — I just put my belly — I just put my belly out like hers.”
Falwell said that the photo was taken at a costume party.
“It was a costume party on a — we were on vacation,” Falwell said. “And, anyway, long story short it was just in good fun. That’s it.”
Jerry Falwell Jr. led a life of luxury filled with jaunts to Miami on a private jet, trips to the Bahamas, and a $1 million salary — while running Liberty University like a “dictatorship” — before he resigned over his sordid sexcapade scandal.
Other snaps show the influential evangelical leader snorkeling in the Bahamas, dining with friends during a trip to Greece made possible by “good friends from the Middle East” and dressed up at the White House Christmas party.
Enlarge Image Jerry Falwell Jr. in the Bahamas in July 2019. Instagram
In 2007, Falwell took over as president of Liberty University following the death of his father, the late famed televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr., who founded the ultra-conservative Christian school in Virginia in 1971.
He enjoyed perks including a nearly $1 million salary and the university-chartered jet, which he used to fly to Miami for his annual physical — as required by the school’s board, Reuters reported last year.
Falwell’s personal trainer Benjamin Crosswhite accompanied him on one physical in 2012 “to explain to the doctors Mr. Falwell’s diet and exercise program and help document the results,” the university said.
But Falwell has faced scrutiny over his relationship with Crosswhite — with the then-chancellor personally approving real estate deals that benefited the Liberty alumnus, according to Reuters.
He’s also faced fierce criticism over his allegedly self-dealing management of the university.
“It’s a dictatorship,” one high-level employee told Politico last year. “Nobody craps at the university without Jerry’s approval.”
Falwell, one of the most influential right-wing Christian leaders in the country, officially resigned as president of Liberty on Monday over his alleged sex scandal involving his wife, Becki, and her pool-boy lover, Giancarlo Granda.
The younger man, now 29, has claimed he had sex with Becki, 53, for years starting in 2012 — and that Falwell liked to watch.
Falwell confirmed his wife’s “indiscretion” but said it was brief and denied being involved.
Reuters has reported new details about his relationship with a Miami businessman. That man, Giancarlo Granda, confirmed he had been in a sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife, Becki — with her husband’s approval.
“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship, and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda told Reuters. The encounters took place multiple times a year, from 2012 to 2018, he added. Texts, recordings, and screenshots obtained by Reuters appear to show Granda discussing the relationship with the couple.
The Reuters story adds substance to rumors that have circulated around Granda and the Falwells since at least 2018. But, for the most part, those rumors inferred scandal from a handful of available facts. BuzzFeed News first reported that two Florida men had sued both Granda and the Falwells for allegedly cutting them out of a Miami hostel business, and BuzzFeed’s original story contained some potentially salacious details about the Falwells’ close relationship with Granda: After meeting him when he was a 21-year-old pool attendant in Miami Beach, they’d “flown him in a private jet” before helping set him up in business.
But the details of the Falwells’ relationship with Granda remained murky. Jerry himself, meanwhile, tripped into scandal after scandal.
A year after the BuzzFeed story broke, Reuters reported that Michael Cohen — yes, Michael Cohen, the former Trump attorney — had helped him quash “personal photographs” that had fallen into a third party’s hands. Those photos were of Becki Falwell, the Miami Herald reported weeks later, and, according to Politico, at least one showed her in a French-maid costume. Jerry sent the image to Liberty employees by accident and allegedly made a habit of discussing his sex life at work. A former university official told Politico about one particularly unfortunate car ride, during which “all he wanted to talk about was how he would nail his wife, how she couldn’t handle [his penis size], and stuff of that sort.”
Only recently did Falwell’s behavior become too much for Liberty to tolerate. After photos surfaced showing him with his pants unzipped and a glass of what looks like beer in hand, he took an “indefinite leave of absence” at the request of the university’s board of trustees. But Liberty’s long nightmare wasn’t over yet. The Granda story still loomed.
Falwell’s personal sword of Damocles first looked likely to fall this weekend. In an interview with the conservative Washington Examiner, Falwell, who is one of Trump’s most prominent Evangelical backers, said that his wife had had an affair with Granda and that the former pool attendant then blackmailed the couple, which pushed Falwell into a depression. His recent un-Liberty-like behavior was a symptom of his distress, he said. But the interview invited further speculation: that Falwell, facing the loss of his job — and, along with it, the platform that had made him politically relevant — might have been trying to get ahead of a damning story. As it turns out, he was. It’s all rather biblical. Falwell offered his wife as a scapegoat, the theory goes, while dodging responsibility for his own part in the affair.
Normally, a couple’s consensual sexual arrangements aren’t worthy of a Reuters investigation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with French-maid costumes or cuckolding fetishes or whatever else — though discussing your sex life at length with an employee can indeed cross legal and ethical lines.
But Falwell can blame only himself for the headlines. He is, after all, an Evangelical celebrity, the son of a man who profited greatly from hellfire and brimstone. The university the Falwells built expels students for far less serious infractions. Same-sex relationships are forbidden; so is premarital sex between men and women. Want a beer? Don’t even think about it. It’s called the Liberty Way, and Falwell is in charge of enforcing it: Despite initial reports that he resigned on Monday, Falwell told Politico that he has “not resigned.”
Jerry Falwell Jr. will likely find a second act somewhere. Disgraced Evangelical men usually do. Fox News, for example, has space for anyone who wants to rant about cancel culture while glorifying Donald Trump. Falwell is not a sympathetic figure — but, in fairness, growing up in the Falwell family would damage anyone for life.
He had been on leave from the university after posting a photo on his Instagram showing him with his jeans unzipped and his arm around a young pregnant woman.
He and Becki married in 1987 and have three children.
Falwell could reportedly net $10.5 million from Liberty following his resignation — $2.5 million for two years of his salary, plus a one-time payment of about $8 million as part of a contractual clause giving him full pay if he resigned with restricted responsibilities, the Wall Street Journal reported.
He told the paper Monday night, “I didn’t break any rules — I get my compensation.”
Jerry Falwell Jr.’s wife Becki climbed into bed and performed oral sex on student after band practice with their son in 2008
- A former Liberty University student who played in a band with Becki Falwell’s son claims she performed oral sex on him when he was 22, in 2008
- The anonymous student was classmates with the Falwell’s eldest son Trey
- The incident took place in the Falwell’s home when Jerry Falwell Jr was away
- The former student says Becki pursued him for months, sending him gifts and Facebook messages, but he rejected her further advances
- Becki and Jerry Falwell Jr dismissed the report as ‘false and fantanstic claims’
- Jerry Falwell Jr resigned as president of Liberty University on Tuesday following a pool boy sex scandal
A former Liberty University student who played in a band with Becki Falwell’s son claims she performed oral sex on him and pursued him on Facebook for months when he was 22.
The scandals surrounding evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr and his wife Becki deepened on Thursday when a man, who declined to give his name, came forward to claim he had a sexual encounter with Becki in 2008 when he was a student, according to Politico report published Thursday.
Falwell Jr resigned as president of Liberty University, one of the nation’s largest evangelical Christian colleges, on Tuesday after a pool boy came forward alleging he had a six-year affair with the Falwells.
In the sexual encounter, the former student said he had finished band practice with the Falwell’s eldest son Trey and was at the Falwell home in Cifax, Virginia when Becki allegedly jumped into bed with him and began to perform oral sex on him.
He claimed her husband, the president of Liberty University who resigned this week, was away at the time.
He said that he gave in to her advances but rejected her later ones when she pursued him with gifts and chit chat on Facebook messages.
‘She was the aggressor,’ he said of the relationship.
The former student said on some occasions he’d stay up drinking whiskey and playing music with Trey and would crash in the guest bedroom of the Falwell’s home next to Trey’s bedroom.
He said on one occasion in either August or September 2008, he stayed over and heard giggling next to him and found Becki in the room, but got her to leave.
A few nights later he stayed the night again at the Falwell’s home and Becki came into the guest bedroom where she climbed into his bed and took down his pants.
‘I was like, “uh, what are you doing?”‘ he said. The man claims she proceeded to give him oral sex.
Afterwards, the student said he feared word would get out and he would tarnish the legacy of Jerry Falwell Sr, a respected evangelical pastor who died the year prior.
A fellow bandmate, who was unnamed in the report, said the former student told him about the encounter with Becki a month later.
That bandmate said Becki would flirt and make innuendos with the former student during band practices while her son was present.
In one message she said: ‘[Redacted] said that she wants you to cut bangs when you get your hair cut. I think that you are beautiful just like you are. You don’t want to cover up those killer eyes of yours and you know the bandana drives me wild… oh well, do whatever YOU want to do. Now you have my two cents.’
According to Politico after months of chasing the former student she wrote to him: ‘Maybe time will heal whatever wounds that I have caused and your Christian heart will allow you to forgive me.’
He claimed she also tried to contact him on social media using fake accounts where she posed as a blonde North Carolina woman in her early 20s.
‘She was saying stuff a 20 and 21-year-old wouldn’t say. [It was] like real Southern charm. Stuff that older people say. And I said [to myself], “Hold up, not only is this an old person, it’s Becki,”‘ he said.
‘So I said, “I think I have a feeling who this is. Why are you doing this right now on this account?”‘ the former student recalled. ‘I think she was embarrassed, because I kinda remember her being defensive about it.’
He said she would offer him gifts including CD’s and tickets to see Kings of Leon.
The former student, who is now 34, says he hasn’t heard from Becki Falwell in more than eight years until this week when the pool boy scandal with Giancarlo Granda broke out.
He said she texted him to say hello and share her agony on the scandal.
She texted him Monday night: ‘This is a nightmare. It just keeps getting worse.’
The former student said that the incident with Becki made him spiral into a long battle with his faith and mental health. He didn’t tell his family about the incident and only confided in a few close friends.
‘I don’t want to be a homewrecker. That took a toll on the soul,’ the former student said.
‘It made [him] feel bad. It was a depressing thing; he struggled with depression [afterwards],’ a former bandmate said.
Becki and Jerry Falwell Jr have dismissed the former student’s claims as ‘false and fantanstic claims’.
‘It is unfortunate that the coverage of our departure has turned into a frenzy of false and fantastic claims about us. These false and mean spirited lies have hurt us and our family greatly and we will respond fully with the truth at an appropriate time,’ they said in a statement to the outlet.
Liberty University said no students registered sexual misconduct claims with the university against Becki.
‘This is a fresh allegation, as far as we can tell,’ Scott Lamb, the vice president of the nation’s largest evangelical university in Lynchburg, Virginia said.
Jerry Falwell Jr stepped down as president of Liberty University on Tuesday, a day after a man named Giancarlo Granda came forward saying he had a six-year affair with Becki and Jerry would watch them have sex
He stressed the school’s ‘policies against employees having sexual relationships with students, as well as having other inappropriate relationships outside of marriage, whether consensual or not.’
‘Becki Falwell was an employee in 2008 and such policies would have fully applied to her as spouse of the then-university Chancellor and President,’ he added.
At Liberty University, students aren’t allowed to have sex outside of marriage.
Those that do risk punishment including expulsion. Like many other Christian institutions, the school views premarital sex as a sin.
Jerry Falwell Jr stepped down as president of Liberty University on Tuesday, two days after a man named Giancarlo Granda came forward saying he had a six-year affair with Becki and Jerry would watch them have sex.
He said he was 20 when he met the pair in Miami when he was a pool boy and that starting in March 2012, he had sex with Falwell’s wife Becki several times a year in hotel rooms, sometimes while Falwell Jr. watched, until 2018
He said he was 20 when he met the pair in Miami when he was a pool boy and that starting in March 2012, he had sex with Falwell’s wife Becki several times a year in hotel rooms, sometimes while Falwell Jr. watched, until 2018.
Falwell said in a statement Sunday his wife was involved in the affair but he was not.
The former student says he’s coming forward with the story because he believes Becki is abusing her position and power.
‘Usually I think about a middle-aged man grooming someone,’ he said.
‘It’s funny how it happened with the whole, “Me Too” [movement]. I’m on the other end of the spectrum [from] men harassing women. I found [that] a lot of the traits that these guys had, [Falwell] had as well,’ he added.
Jerry Falwell Sr. and the Unification Church Bail Out
Back in 1995 affiliates of Sun Myung Moon, controversial leader of the Unification Church, have a history of supporting and courting conservative evangelicals. Now, according to published reports, financial support has been filtered to Liberty University from Moon-related enterprises. But Liberty founder Jerry Fallwell told Christianity Today that the source of the funds does not influence his ministry.
“If the American Atheists Society or Saddam Hussein himself ever sent an unrestricted gift to any of my ministries,” Falwell says, “be assured I will operate on Billy Sunday’s philosophy: The Devil’s had it long enough, and quickly cash the check.”
While Moon may not be the Devil, Christians contest Moon’s claim that he is destined by God to complete an unfulfilled mission of Jesus. Moon claims Jesus failed as the Messiah because he did not wed and have children. The divorced 78-year-old Moon says he and his current wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, 53, are the “true parents of all humanity.”
$3.5 MILLION GIFT: In November, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), which is headed by Moon’s wife, contributed $3.5 million to Christian Heritage Foundation (CHF) of Virginia for “educational purposes” in 1995.
WFWP chair Susan Fefferman says Falwell spoke monthly to a group of professional women forging Japanese-American friendships. Fefferman says that in return WFWP provided scholarships for “many, many students” through the CHF. She told CT that Falwell “made it clear” that he represented CHF and the $3.5 million could be sent there on behalf of Liberty.
CHF co-founder Daniel Reber says CHF solicited funds from WFWP in 1995 to help finance missions projects, not to service the school’s indebtedness. “Not one penny …