Liberty University sues Jerry Falwell Jr. for $ 10 million

Liberty University has sued Jerry Felwell Jr. for $ 10 million, ending a dirty divorce between Christian University and its former president whose family name has been synonymous since the university’s founding.

The new suit, which alleges breach of contract and implied duty, claims that Mr Felwell falsely pretends to malicious and potentially damaging information from Liberty’s Board of Trustees to negotiate a lenient new contract for himself in 2019 Of. Mr. Falwell also failed to disclose that he was charged with “his personal harm by alcohol.”

Last August, Mr. Felwell claimed he was being threatened with extortion by a man who had had a sexual relationship with Mr. Falwell’s wife, Becky, for years. The suit claims that maintaining sexual entanglement and the resulting “extortion” was endangered by a secret, Mr Falwell, and later damaged Liberty’s reputation. Instead of dividing the active threat to Liberty’s board, “Falwell Jr. chose personal safety,” the suit claims.

A spokesman for Liberty University, Scott Lamb, said the school had no comment on the suit. Mr. Falwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday morning.

The university filed a lawsuit the same day that its board of trustees was held in Lynchburg, Va. Arrived in, for their semi-meeting, at which they are set to discuss the future of the university, including the search for a permanent leader. Jerry Prevo, a close associate of Mr. Falwell’s father and former pastor of a large church in Alaska, has been serving as interim president since August. Mr. Prevo is also a member of the board’s powerful executive committee.

The possibility of this lawsuit is that there may be a typically unaccounted crowd that Mr. Falwell used to dazzle the board with fascinating presentations about Liberty’s development and influence under his leadership. The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Felwell defrauded the board’s executive committee for redesigning his contract to include a higher severance payment if he resigned for “good cause” or Liberty left without The reason terminated his contract. Mr Felwell claimed to the committee that it would serve as a “safety valve” for both him and the university if his Former President Donald J. Trump’s full-endorsement was shown to be detrimental to the school’s reputation.

The real reason for negotiating the deal, the suit claims, was to protect against the possibility that former pool attendant Giancarlo Granda, who had a relationship with Ms. Felwell, would publicly reveal his relationship with the family.

The suit says Falwell “unfairly and unfairly” told the press that he owed $ 10.5 million after his departure in August. He should have had a salary of $ 2.59 million, or two years, under a higher salary in 2019, he claimed. “Liberty was unsure if Falwell Jr.’s representation in the media was just pretense and bragging or some attempt to establish a claim for additional compensation,” the suit states.

The suit also claimed that Mr. Falwell used a non-Liberty email address and personal devices to conduct the university’s business. Although Liberty paid for the devices and confidential university information is stored on them, Mr. Falwell has refused to return them or provide an access code, the university alleges. The school is working with an independent forensic accounting firm to investigate its operations under Mr Felwell; That investigation continues.

The suit contains new details about the family yacht outings in 2020, which led to Mr. Falwell being suspended prior to his resignation.

In early August, Mr. Felwell posted a picture on his Instagram account showing his pants unbuttoned and his hand around a pregnant Liberty employee who was in contact with his abdomen. Mr. Falwell was holding what was an alcoholic beverage; His caption joked that it was “just black water.” The lawsuit claimed that Ms. Felwell took photographs against the objections of the employee and her husband, Mr. Falwell’s personal assistant. Mr. Falwell promised not to show the photo to others, but later posted it on his public Instagram account.

After Mr. Felwell carried out a disastrous attempt to convince himself in the media, Ms. Falwell privately contacted three members of the executive committee to express concern about her husband’s excessive drinking, the suit’s allegations . Her “heartfelt appeal” convinced Liberty leaders to sympathize with Mr Falwell’s indecisive behavior, and to allow him to take a sabbatical, with a glimpse into rehab to be paid by the university.

But Mr. Falwell opposed the idea of ​​residential treatment, the suit claims. Liberty also says that Mr. Falwell started “drinking heavily” to manage his stress on the grandstand situation. “There is concern that she smelled of alcohol during work conversations,” the suit alleges.

The suit also criticizes Mr. Felwell’s widespread failure to fulfill the spiritual and moral responsibilities of his role as president of Christian College, founded in 1971 by his father, Jerry Falwell Sr. Explain that the school’s president “provides the university with a spiritual and worldview in pursuit of excellence.”

Liberal students vow to have alcohol, heterosexual behavior, and sex out of heterosexual marriages. In contrast, the suit states, Falwells “frequented Miami-area clubs” and socialized into “high-energy social events.”

Since his departure in August, Mr. Felwell has had Suggested to reporters That his continued presence in Liberty is planned. Last month, he showed pictures of his family participating in a Liberty lacrosse game on his Instagram account.

But Liberty has taken some steps to distance himself from Mr. Falwell and his family. Mr. Falwell’s oldest son, a vice-president, Deceased School earlier this month. Around the same time, Mr. Prevo Emailed employees To remind them that “at no stage is a Liberty University employee allowed to communicate with Jerry Felwell Jr. or Becky Felwell about university matters,” unless it was Felwell’s daughter, a current student Is not related to

Meanwhile, Mr. Falwell’s brother has played a big role in the campus. Jonathan Felwell is the senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, which was founded by Jerry Felwell Sr. In Lynchburg, he has a reputation for being more interested in spiritual matters in politics, contrasting with his older brother, who trained. Advocates and enjoy engaging in public battles over political and cultural disputes.

Mr. Falwell filed his lawsuit against the university in October, claiming that the university damaged his reputation in public statements following his resignation. That lawsuit was also filed the same week that the board of trustees gathered in Lynchburg. Mr. Falwell dropped it in December.

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