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Falwell sues Liberty University in suit that alleges 'forced resignation'

Former chancellor's lawyers claim the Evangelical Christian college “needlessly injured and damaged" their client's reputation.

Jerry Falwell Jr. at the Republican National Convention in 2016
Jerry Falwell Jr. at the Republican National Convention in 2016
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Updated: October 29, 2020 - 11:16am

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Former Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. filed suit Thursday in a Virginia court, alleging the Evangelical Christian college “needlessly injured and damaged his reputation,” following a series of allegations about his personal life that forced his resignation.

In late August, a former Falwell business partner, Giancarlo Granda, alleged he had a years-long sexual relationship with the former chancellor’s wife, Becki, of which her husband approved. 

The suit, filed in the Virginia Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg, alleges university officials accepted the false claims against Falwell without investigation to force his resignation, according to a release by the former chancellor, whose father founded the school, and his attorneys.

The complaint also alleges the university "needlessly injured and damaged his reputation through a series of statements, published in print and spoken in large public forums and streamed online, following his resignation."

The university has yet to immediately respond to Just the News' request for comment Thursday morning.

An inappropriate Instagram picture of Falwell with his wife’s pregnant assistant at a party, before the allegations of the affair, and an allegation by a former student about a sexual encounter with Becki Falwell also contributed to the former chancellor’s downfall, after leading the university for roughly 13 years.

The suit also alleges the school engaged in a campaign to "tarnish, minimize, and outright destroy the legacy of the Falwell family and Mr. Falwell's reputation” and that Falwell tried to resolve matters with the school before filing the suit. 

"We attempted to meet several times with the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee but were unsuccessful in doing so,” Robert Raskopf, of Quinn Emanuel, the lead counsel representing Falwell, said in the release. “Thus, we were forced to seek remedy for Mr. Falwell's ongoing injuries and damage to his reputation through the court." 

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