Falwell sues Liberty for saying the school has hurt his reputation – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2020-10-29 19:31:01 –

Richmond, Virginia (AP) —Jerry Falwell Jr. sued Liberty University, claiming that the evangelicals founded by the late pastor’s father had damaged his reputation in a series of public statements. scandal.

The proceedings filed in the Lynchburg Circuit Court on Wednesday included allegations of defamation and breach of contract. Liberty officials have accepted the false allegation that Falwell was involved in the extramarital relationship between his wife and the couple’s business partners, claiming that they “moved swiftly” to destroy his reputation.

“When Mr. Falwell and his family were targeted by a malicious slander campaign triggered by anti-evangelical forces, Liberty University not only accepted the sneaky and unfounded accusations against Falwell at face value. , Directly participated in defamation. The lawsuit seeks relief for the damage Liberty has caused to the reputation of Mr. Falwell and his family, “said the lawsuit.

K. Todd Swisher, Circuit Court Secretary of the City of Lynchburg, provided a copy of the complaint to the Associated Press. This includes a limited number of edits to the section related to Falwell’s employment contract. Swisher said a hearing will take place within a week to see if the judge will keep the unedited version of the complaint sealed.

Liberty spokesman Scott Lamb said the unlitigated school will issue a formal statement later Thursday. The school board is meeting this week.

Falwell’s attorney did not immediately respond to the phone message left on Thursday, and Falwell did not respond to voicemail and text asking for comment.

Falwell’s young business partner, Giancarlo Granda, has a long-standing sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife, Becky Falwell, and Jerry Falwell joins several liaisons as a voyeur. Falwell left Liberty in August after saying he did.

Falwells admitted that Granda and Becky Falwell had an affair, but Jerry Falwell denied any participation. The couple allege that they tried to blackmail them by threatening to reveal the relationship unless Granda was paid a large sum of money.

Before resigning, Falwell had already been on leave indefinitely after a turmoil over photos posted on social media by his and his wife’s pregnant assistant with their pants unzipped.

Falwell said he enjoyed the costume party during the holidays, but critics saw the students as evidence of hypocrisy by the head of the institution that bound them to strict moral codes of conduct.

Shortly after Falwell left, Liberty announced that it would begin an independent investigation into his tenure as president. This is a wide range of research, including financial, real estate and legal issues.

Earlier this month, the school identified Baker Tilly US as an investigative company and announced the launch of a website to “make it easier to report potential fraud to the investigation team.”

Falwell declined to answer AP’s question about the size of retirement benefits received from the university, but discussed the issue with other media outlets and reported that he would receive $ 10.5 million. However, Liberty said in a statement last month that he paid Falwell a two-year base salary and challenged Falwell’s “media coverage of size and terms.”

In an August interview with AP, Falwell said the school’s board was “very generous to me,” but was “influenced by those who really shouldn’t say” about Liberty’s future direction. “I have expressed concern.

In the proceedings, Falwell was forced to resign after Granda published his allegations, claiming that Liberty had “turned on” him. The proceedings also state that Liberty rejected Falwell’s attempt to “reach a friendly solution” and sent Falwell to court to “restore his reputation.”

The proceedings state that Liberty’s remarks had a negative impact not only on Falwell’s reputation, but also on his future employment prospects and business opportunities. Falwell now has a “dramatically diminished ability” to give his name to businesses and charities, and receives frequent invitations before appearing on television to discuss freedom, evangelicalism, and politics. The lawsuit states that it has stopped.

The proceedings further claim that “Liberty’s actions are the exact opposite of Christ’s teachings.” Falwell’s attorney has accused the university of “touching the hands of a low-key, ominous agent” and hurting the university’s own position and the position of the broader evangelical community.

Falwell’s violent departure from Liberty came four years after his support helped to improve the reputation of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump among conservative evangelical Protestants. Since then, the group has become an important part of the president’s political foundation. The public Falwell-Trump alliance, which marked 2016, will not be visible in this year’s elections, as the president is looking to other prominent evangelical agents.

Named to amplify Granda’s claims in the proceedings is the Lincoln Project, a group founded by prominent Republican critics of Trump. The Lincoln project adviser provided public relations support to Granda after publishing his claim about sexual relations with Becky Falwell, but the group said Thursday that “it will ultimately learn about the true character of the people. It had nothing to do with the Falwell family. “

“In the Lincoln project, Falwell never unbuttoned his pants on a superyacht and posted photos on social media,” said Falwell, who couldn’t stand with Donald Trump. Now it makes sense. They are the spirits of relatives, “the group said in a statement.

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