Falwell Jr. quotes MLK in decision to resign: ‘Free at last’

The embattled Liberty University president announced his resignation hours after saying he would not leave the university

Donald Trump Delivers Commencement Address At Liberty University
Jerry Falwell, President of Liberty University, speaks during a commencement at Liberty University May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Jerry Falwell, President of Liberty University, speaks during a commencement at Liberty University May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It’s official: Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has resigned.

Falwell, 58, announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon just a few hours after dismissing reports that he would leave his position as president and member of the board of directors at the Christian college. The educator cited Martin Luther King Jr. in his decision to resign.

Read More: Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. reveals wife’s affair after he says couple was blackmailed

“It’s a relief,” he told The News & Advance‘s Richard Chumney. “The quote that keeps going through my mind this morning is Martin Luther Ling Jr: ‘free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last.’”

He continued, “I see a role in other areas, I don’t know what it is yet but I’m not done. This happened for a reason.”

Liberty University’s executive leadership, who meet earlier on Tuesday and spoke with the trustees’ board to strategize its next move, accepted the resignation in a statement.

Becki Jerry Falwell Jr. Liberty University thegrio.com
Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Becki Falwell (Photo: Getty Images)

Falwell told university brass on Monday that he would resign, then later instructed his attorneys not to submit his resignation immediately.

This week’s dizzying mix of “did he or didn’t he” followed reports that Falwell, would depart the school’s top chair after Giancarlo Granda, a former business partner of his, revealed that he had engaged the longtime evangelical figure and his wife, Becki, 53, in sexual trysts that began when Granda was 20, toiling aside pools in Miami Beach.

Granda told Reuters that he had a seven-year intimate relationship with Becki Falwell that started in March 2012, ended in 2018 and had her husband’s blessing. Granda says he met the couple while working as a pool attendant at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

Read More: Herschel Walker says friend Trump being called racist ‘hurts my soul’

Jerry Falwell, Granda maintains, “enjoyed watching from the corner of the room” as he and his wife had sex. “Multiple times per year,” he said, they would meet in hotels and the Falwells’ Virginia home.

The Falwells are major supporters of President Donald Trump, he a proud endorser and she a member of re-election advisory board Women for Trump.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Loading the player...