Liberty University has accused Jerry Falwell Jr. of hoodwinking them into an employment agreement with a very generous severance package by covering up the sex scandal he knew was brewing.
The sordid Falwell Jr. saga, you may recall, began when he posted on Instagram a photo of himself, holding close a woman who is not his wife, the two of them with their pants unzipped and Falwell Jr. holding a glass of dark liquid that looks like liquor.
Falwell sounded drunk when he offered a bizarre, rambling “explanation” on a morning radio show and said he’d try to be “a good boy” in the future.
But things got even more sordid when details of his wife’s sexcapades with “poolboy” Giancarlo Granda, which Falwell Jr. allegedly enjoyed watching, became public.
Falwell resigned from Liberty, only to sue the university a few months later for – get this – “damaging his reputation.” He dropped that lawsuit shortly thereafter.
Now, Liberty’s suing him.
Liberty accuses Falwell in the lawsuit of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and of engaging in a “conspiracy of silence” over alleged extortion attempts from Granda while negotiating a higher payment package from the evangelical institution.
“Had Liberty’s Executive Committee known in 2018 and 2019 that Granda was attempting to extort Falwell Jr. and thus planning to damage Liberty, and had it known the full circumstances of Granda’s extortion of Falwell Jr., then the Executive Committee would have refrained from entering into the 2019 Employment Agreement,” the suit states.
“The actions of Falwell Jr. and Granda have injured Liberty’s enrollment, impacted its donor base, disrupted its faculty, enabled the 2019 Employment Agreement that proved detrimental to Liberty’s interests, and damaged Liberty’s reputation,” the suit reads.
There’s also a Trump connection here. TPM notes that Falwell was able to disappear racy photos from the sexcapades, likely with the help of then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen. The complaint goes into detail about Falwell not only endorsed Trump but worked to get other evangelicals on board with his candidacy.
You can read the full complaint here.