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Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Blackmailer Has Cache of Compromising Photos, Lawsuit Says

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Jerry Falwell Jr.’s alleged blackmailer possesses compromising photos and communications that would be “harmful” to his family, according to a lawsuit filed by Liberty University against its former president.

On Thursday, Liberty University filed a civil suit in Virginia’s Lynchburg Circuit Court alleging that Falwell broke an employment contract and withheld details of a personal scandal from the school. Falwell called the lawsuit, which is seeking tens of millions in damages, a “power grab” that’s “full of lies and half-truths” in a series of tweets on Saturday.

Falwell left his role as president of the university last August after a man named Giancarlo Granda alleged that he had an affair with Falwell’s wife, Becki Falwell. Granda also accused Falwell of having knowledge of the affair and participating as a voyeur.

The Falwell family admitted the affair, but denied all other allegations and claimed that Granda had blackmailed the family for money.

Jerry Falwell, former President of Liberty University, speaks during a commencement at Liberty University May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“Granda threatened to use the surreptitious sexual intimacy, and surrounding conduct, to ’embarrass the Falwells and Liberty University,'” the lawsuit read. “Granda had amassed considerable leverage over the Falwells, and, accordingly, they worked to keep Granda pacified and quiet.”

The lawsuit also claimed that Granda took racy photos and recorded his phone calls and FaceTime communications with Falwell’s wife “for the purpose of enhancing ‘extortion attempts.'”

“Granda had access to plenty of material that could have been deeply damaging to Falwell Jr. in the eyes of the evangelical community,” according to the suit. “Falwell Jr. and Granda both knew that matters of infidelity, immodesty and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct expected of leaders at Liberty.”

The university accused Falwell of endangering and damaging its reputation by keeping the affair and extortion a secret. “Despite his clear duties as an executive and officer at Liberty, Falwell Jr. chose personal protection,” the lawsuit stated.

Falwell had a “fiduciary duty to disclose Granda’s extortive actions, and to disclose the potential for serious harm to Liberty,” according to the lawsuit. It also alleged that Falwell negotiated a “2019 Employment Agreement that contained a higher salary from Liberty,” which “furthered the conspiracy of silence.”

On Saturday, Falwell condemned the university’s lawsuit as “yet another attempt to defame me and discredit my record following a series of harsh and unnecessary actions against my children, Becki, and me.”

“I always abided by the requirements that applied to everyone on the University staff. This lawsuit is full of lies and half truths, and I assure you that I will defend myself vigorously,” he added.

The Liberty Buzz reached out to Liberty University for comment. This story will be updated with any response.

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