Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. reveals wife’s affair after he says couple was blackmailed
Becki Falwell's former lover says he had a years-long affair with her and that her husband knew about it
Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University after a former business partner claimed he had a years-long affair with the evangelical’s leader’s wife. He also alleged that he had Falwell’s full blessing.
In an interview published Monday, Granda confessed to Reuters that he had an affair with Becki Falwell. He claimed the extramarital relationship began in March 2012 when he was 20, after meeting the couple when he was a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The affair began that month and continued until 2018.
Granda said that not only did Falwell, 58, know about the affair but would often watch him have sex with his wife, 53.
“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda told Reuters.
Granda added that he and Becki would hook up “multiple times per year” at hotels and the Falwell home in Virginia where the country’s largest Christian college, Liberty University, is based.
Falwell had been the school’s steward since his father’s death in 2007. He and Becki, referred to as the “first lady of Liberty,” oversaw the college, which has a strict moral policy including “sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”
In recent years, Falwell courted controversy due to his ringing endorsement of twice-divorced President Donald Trump. His wife served on Women for Trump, an advisory board for his re-election campaign.
Falwell took an indefinite leave earlier this month after he posted a picture of himself on social media with his pants unzipped standing next to his wife’s assistant. He claimed it was a joke, but Granda offered evidence to Reuters that this was not the first time that Falwell was caught in a compromising position.
Granda, now 29, provided Reuters with emails, texts, and audio to corroborate his allegations. In one recording, the couple discusses Becki’s jealousy of Granda’s other partners with Granda on the phone as well.
“He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something,” she said.
“You’re going to make her jealous,” Falwell replied.
“I’m not trying to do that,” Granda insisted.
In another exchange, the banter was friendlier.
“Right now I am just missing you like crazy …. Have you had this effect on all of your lady friends?” Becki texted him in 2012.
Granda’s relationship with the evangelical power couple, who married in 1987, began to fray over a business deal. The Falwells sought to purchase a Miami hostel that Granda would run, but the sale fell apart. Granda told Falwell in a June 2012 text that, “Since you’re okay with ruining my life, I am going to take the kamikaze route.”
Falwell preemptively told the Washington Examiner on Sunday that he and Tilley were the victims of “blackmail” due to the affair.
“While we tried to distance ourselves from him over time, he, unfortunately, became increasingly angry and aggressive,” Falwell told the Examiner. “Eventually, he began threatening to publicly reveal this secret relationship with Becki and to deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies,” he wrote.
Falwell alleged that Granda has mental health issues and said his own mental health suffered as a result of the affair. He and Tillery have remained together and despite the private nature of the accusations Falwell felt it was necessary for him to make a statement.
“I’m just tired of it,” he said. “It’s just got to end.”
At first, it was reported that Falwell resigned as president of Liberty University but it’s now unclear whether or not he will be allowed to remain in his position. A final statement is expected on Tuesday.
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