The Conservative Evangelical School is claiming $ 30 million from Jerry Falwell Jr for damages resulting from “shamelessness.”
Liberty University has sued its former president Jerry Falwell Jr, a once influential figure among evangelical Christians in America, claiming he had undermined his customs by covering up his wife’s affair with a pool attendant who tried to extort them.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in state court in Lynchburg, Va. Seeks at least $ 30 million in damages.
He said Falwell, 58, failed in his homework by refusing to disclose his relationship with his wife Becki with the attendant, and by negotiating a higher salary and severance pay when he knew the affair could damage the school.
Liberty said that Falwell had poorly mixed his academic duties with his personal life knowing that “infidelity, shamelessness and acceptance of a laid back lifestyle would be in stark contrast to the conduct expected of Liberty executives. . “
Falwell did not immediately respond to a text and voicemail message on Friday asking for comment.
Lawyers who have represented Falwell in recent litigation could not be reached immediately or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Falwell resigned from Liberty last August, a day after pool attendant Giancarlo Granda told Reuters he had had years of sex with the Falwells.
Granda had met the Falwells in Miami in 2012, five years after Falwell became president of Liberty. Falwell had succeeded his late father Jerry Falwell Sr, the eminent televangelist and founder of Liberty.
Liberty said Falwell’s conduct contravened the “Liberty Way,” his term for centering life on a rigorous education and a commitment to faith and Biblical standards of morality.
He wants Falwell to pay $ 10 million in compensatory damages, which he says can be tripled under Virginia law, plus punitive and other damages. He also wants to return the phones, computers and other property belonging to the school to him.
A Liberty spokesperson declined Reuter’s request to comment on the lawsuit.
At Liberty, Falwell had become a force in American conservative politics, and his Donald Trump endorsement during the 2016 US presidential race, he helped win over evangelicals in a crowded Republican field.
Ahead of his departure, Falwell took time off after posting on social media and then deleting a photo of himself with his arm around his wife’s assistant, where his pants were partially unzipped. Falwell later told a local radio station that the photo was meant to be a joke.
In October, Falwell sued Liberty for libel, claiming it damaged his reputation by giving credit to what he called Granda’s “lies”. He dropped that trial in December.