Last August, the current leadership of Liberty pressured Jerry Falwell Jr. into resigning following a wild tsunami of personal scandals, allegations and one infamous photo that topped Falwell’s 13-year streak of leadership. Now, Falwell has announced that he is suing Liberty University, saying the school has damaged his reputation.
“We attempted to meet several times with the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee but were unsuccessful in doing so,” Falwell’s lawyer Robert Raskopf said in a statement. “Thus, we were forced to seek remedy for Mr. Falwell’s ongoing injuries and damage to his reputation through the Court.”
Falwell’s reputation has undoubtedly taken some hits over the last few years, though it’s hard to see how the school itself was responsible for those. You may remember the yacht photo that finally compelled the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee to force Falwell out of leadership. That photo, along with the testimony of a former business partner who alleged a years-long sexual relationship with Falwell and his wife, led to the resignation — though Falwell reportedly got out with the help of a $10.8 million parachute.
The allegations were made by Giancarlo Granda, who provided recordings and screenshots of explicit communications with the Falwells to Reuters. Falwell has maintained that he was unaware of his wife’s relationship with Granda and now, Falwell is alleging that Liberty accepted Granda’s claims without doing due diligence. In the complaint, Falwell’s attorneys claim to have “research” proving Granda was connected to Falwell’s “political opponents” including the Lincoln Project, a well-funded group of anti-Trump Republicans.
As president of Liberty, Falwell steered the school his father founded towards big-time financial success, even as the man himself became more known for his pugnacious Twitter presence, vociferous defenses of President Donald Trump and messy personal life. That’s about all we know for now, but there’s probably more to come.