FAL­WELL SAYS HE’S RE­SIGNED FROM LIB­ERTY UNIVER­SITY

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION / WORLD - BY ELANA SCHOR AND SARAH RANKIN

RICH­MOND, Va. — Jerry Fal­well Jr. an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion Tues­day as the head of Lib­erty Univer­sity af­ter a provoca­tive photo and rev­e­la­tions of his wife’s ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fair roiled the evan­gel­i­cal school founded by his fa­ther.

Fal­well’s exit marks a pre­cip­i­tous fall from power for one of the coun­try’s most vis­i­ble con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian lead­ers and ar­dent sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. He con­firmed his de­ci­sion to re­sign in a wide-rang­ing in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Ac­cord­ing to the school, he ini­tially of­fered to re­sign Mon­day, hours af­ter a news out­let pub­lished an in­ter­view with a man who said that he had a years­long sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with Becki Fal­well and that Jerry Fal­well par­tic­i­pated in some of the li­aisons as a voyeur. Fal­well, who de­nied any par­tic­i­pa­tion, later re­versed course on his res­ig­na­tion. Then he changed di­rec­tion again.

“That’s the only rea­son I re­signed: be­cause I don’t want some­thing my wife did to harm the school I’ve spent my whole life build­ing,” he said in a phone in­ter­view. “I never broke a sin­gle rule that ap­plies to staff mem­bers at Lib­erty, which I was. So I want ev­ery­body to know that.”

Becki Fal­well also spoke with the AP on Tues­day, say­ing she and her hus­band are “more in love than ever” — a sen­ti­ment echoed by an au­di­bly tear­ful Jerry Fal­well.

“We have the strong­est re­la­tion­ship, and Jerry is the most for­giv­ing per­son I’ve ever met,” she said. “It’s a shame that Chris­tians can’t give us the same for­give­ness that Christ gave us.”

On Tues­day, Gian­carlo Granda re­leased a state­ment reaf­firm­ing his al­le­ga­tion that Jerry Fal­well was aware of Granda’s re­la­tion­ship with his wife and acted as a voyeur.

Fal­well did not ad­dress Granda’s ver­sion of events dur­ing Tues­day’s in­ter­view, but has pre­vi­ously said they were false. Granda called the Fal­wells’ de­nials of his ac­count a “fic­tion” akin to vic­tim sham­ing.

Jerry Fal­well Jr.

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