Falwell, Saying It’s Damaging His Reputation, Seeks Dismissal of Liberty University Lawsuit

Jerry Falwell Jr. has asked a Virginia court to dismiss the $10 million lawsuit Liberty University filed against him for breach of contract and fiduciary duty.

Falwell’s filing in Lynchburg Circuit Court claims that the Liberty lawsuit isn’t really about money. He says it’s about shaming him and destroying his reputation. Falwell abruptly resigned as president of the school last year after it was revealed that his wife, Becki, had engaged in an extramarital affair with a former business partner and family friend. Giancarlo Granda said he had a years-long sexual relationship with the couple that involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.

The suit, filed in April by the Christian university his father founded, alleges that Falwell withheld scandalous and potentially damaging information from the school’s board of trustees in 2019 while negotiating a generous new contract for himself. It also alleges that Falwell also failed to disclose and address “his personal impairment by alcohol.”

The suit alleges that Falwell deceived the board’s executive committee into redesigning his contract to include a higher severance payout if he resigned for “good reason” or if Liberty terminated his contract without cause. Falwell claimed to the committee that this would serve as a “safety valve” for both him and the university if his full-throated support of former President Donald Trump proved damaging to the school’s reputation.

“The rehashing of these events and protected defamation of Falwell through litigation serves one mission — ruining Falwell’s reputation through mischaracterization of events and public shaming through out-of-context pictures filed in a public complaint,” according to the request for dismissal.

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