UPDATE: Falwell Jr. has resigned as the head of Liberty University.
Giancarlo Granda is lashing out at former Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., who all but accused him yesterday of having an affair with his wife Becki Falwell and causing lasting psychological harm. Granda now says that he had a years-long relationship with the Falwells that they both knew about.
“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in an interview with Reuters.
Falwell Jr. led Liberty University until earlier this year. Liberty is a conservative Christian university founded by Falwell’s father that bans LGBTQ people and requires students to follow strict rules that ban dancing, alcohol consumption (even if they’re over 21), and spending time with members of the opposite sex after dark.
Falwell Jr. has been caught breaking all the rules for several years and was asked to take an indefinite leave of absence earlier this month after posting a picture on social media of himself and another woman with their pants undone.
Yesterday, Falwell Jr. sent a 1200-word statement to the Washington Examiner blaming his behavior on an affair his wife had with “an ambitious young man who was working at our hotel.” Falwell Jr. did not mention the hotel employee’s name, but he has had legal trouble with former hotel pool attendant Giancarlo Granda for years.
Now Granda is responding to the charges of ruining Falwell Jr.’s life by saying that he was just 20-years-old when then 49-year-old Falwell Jr. and his wife started a sexual relationship with him.
“Whether it was immaturity, naïveté, instability, or a combination thereof, it was this ‘mindset’ that the Falwells likely detected in deciding that I was the ideal target for their sexual escapades,” Granda, who is now 29, said.
He said that Falwell Jr. was fully aware of his sexual relationship with Becki Falwell and that they would meet up for trysts “multiple times per year” in New York City, Miami, and the Falwells’ home in Virginia.
“Right now I am just missing you like crazy,” read a 2012 message from Becki Falwell to Granda, which he showed Reuters. “Have you had this effect on all of your lady friends?”
He said that their relationship eventually went south and when he tried to end the sexual relationship, they ended up in a business dispute that resulted in several lawsuits related to money the Falwells gave him to buy a hotel.
Granda is “like telling me every time he hooks up with people,” Becki said in a recorded conversation from 2018. “Like I don’t have feelings or something.”
Jerry then said: “You’re going to make her jealous.”
“I’m not trying to do that,” Granda responded in the recording.
He also shared screenshots from a 2019 Facetime conversation between him and Becki Falwell where she was naked while Jerry Falwell peeked from behind a door.
More recent text messages show Granda’s growing frustration with the Falwells.
“Since you’re okay with ruining my life, I am going to take the kamikaze route,” Granda wrote in a text message to Falwell Jr. after news stories started circulating about their relationship that he showed to Reuters.
“You should by now understand that I will not be extorted. I have always treated you fairly and been restrained in response to your threats because I did not wish to ruin your life. Going forward, stop contacting me and my family,” Falwell Jr. responded.
Falwell Jr.’s lawyer said in a statement that he “categorically denies everything you indicated you intend to publish about him.”
In 2019, Roseanne Barr’s ex-husband Tom Arnold released a recorded conversation that suggested that Donald Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen had helped Falwell resolve an “embarrassing” scandal that involved “racy personal” photos he was being blackmailed with, a scandal that many speculated at the time involved Granda because of the timing and locations of events.
In the recording, Cohen said that someone had somehow come into possession of “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” of Falwell, which he described as the kind usually kept “between husband and wife.”
“I actually have one of the photos,” Cohen said during the conversation. “It’s terrible.”
Falwell Jr. was one of the biggest early supporters of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.