Friday, September 18, 2020
Home Europe Evangelical college head quits amid sex scandal

Evangelical college head quits amid sex scandal

Jerry Falwell Jr in May 2019Image copyright

Image caption

Jerry Falwell Jr took a leave of absence from Liberty University after posting a photo of himself on Instagram with his trousers unzipped

The head of a major US evangelical college has denied reports he has quit his job amid allegations about his private life.

The Washington Post, the Associated Press and other US media reported his resignation on Monday, citing officials from the institution.

But the influential evangelical has now denied he has left the role.

Speaking to a Politico on Monday, Falwell Jr said the reports he had quit the post were untrue.

“I have not resigned. How did those reports get out? I don’t know,” he told the news site.

A senior official at Liberty University told CBS News: “Board leadership have been in discussion with Jerry Falwell and expect to be able to make a statement on Tuesday.” They would not comment on the reports he had quit.

Jerry Falwell Jr took a leave of absence earlier this month after posting a photo of himself with trousers unzipped on Instagram.

Further scandals have since emerged, including from someone who claimed to have had a sexual relationship involving Mr Falwell Jr and his wife.

A prominent supporter of US President Donald Trump, he took over at the college after the death of his father, Jerry Falwell.

Mr Falwell Sr founded the university in the 1970s as well as the conservative Moral Majority movement.

What are the allegations?

Mr Falwell Jr was already under scrutiny for a photograph he posted online earlier this month. He appeared in the image with his trousers unzipped and his arm around a woman.

The image provoked outrage and charges of hypocrisy from the political right and left, and calls for Mr Falwell to resign.

Liberty University asked Mr Falwell to take an “indefinite leave of absence” soon after.

Image copyright
Alex Wong

Image caption

Donald Trump attended the Liberty University commencement in 2017

Further allegations have emerged. Giancarlo Granda, a business partner of Falwell Jr’s, told Reuters news agency on Monday that he had a six-year sexual relationship with the evangelical leader and his wife, Becki Falwell.

“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Mr Granda reportedly said in an interview.

A lawyer for Mr Falwell Jr told Reuters before their article came out that his client “categorically denies everything you indicated you intend to publish about him”.

On Sunday, Mr Falwell Jr released a statement to the Washington Examiner saying his wife had had an affair and that the man involved had threatened to “deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University”.

He also spoke of the “emotional toll” the affair had had on him.

Before Mr Granda’s allegations and Mr Falwell Jr’s statement became public, Liberty University issued a statement on Friday saying it had not yet decided his future as president.

The college’s honour code states that “Sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University”.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Australian footballer awarded ‘landmark’ disability payout

Publishedduration2 hours agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionShaun Smith, 51, was a high-flying Aussie rules footballer in the 1990sA former Australian Rules football player has been awarded a A$1.4m (£0.8m; $1m) insurance payout for brain damage suffered from match concussions.Shaun Smith, who was a prominent player in the 1980s and 1990s, had said he could no longer…

China holds drill as US envoy visits Taiwan

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A file photo of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army warship China says it is conducting military exercises near the Taiwan Strait to "protect its sovereignty" even as a top US official visits Taiwan.The live-fire drills come amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington, and as the US moves to…

Friday’s gossip column

Liverpool have enquired about Ismaila Sarr and discussed his situation with Watford, who want £36m for the 22-year-old Senegal striker. (Mail) external-linkSarr has been identified by Manchester United as an alternative option if their move for Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho fails. (Independent)external-linkManchester United are considering moves for Inter Milan's Croatia winger Ivan…

Fantasy football tips for gameweek two

Are you planning on bringing Bruno back?There is nothing normal about the Premier League at the moment, but Manchester City and Manchester United both missing out in the first week of fixtures threw another spanner in the works for many fantasy football managers.Did you pick players from the two clubs anyway and just have them…