The rise and fall of Jerry Falwell Jr: How wife Becki found drunk husband in a pool of blood after sex scandal
Jerry Falwell Jr has had a fair share of ups, downs and explosive controversies. A piece of bombshell news about the attorney made headlines after a 911 call was obtained by HuffPost. On the night of August 30, Falwell Jr was found intoxicated and his wife, Becki Falwell, called 911 around 2.30 am, describing “a lot of blood right now”. The news comes on the heels of Reuters' report on an alleged sexual and financial relationship between Falwell Jr, his wife and a Miami man named Giancarlo Granda.
The call, acquired by the Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information request, took place a week after Falwell was forced to put his papers down as president of the evangelical university founded by his father Jerry Falwell Sr. On the audio call, Becki told the dispatcher that she had been at church at 11 pm that night when her husband rang to say he was injured. On reaching her home, she found it locked and was forced to break the door with a chair. When asked if her husband had been drinking heavily, she straightaway said, "I'm not going to answer that question." She was told the information was important to understand how severe his injuries were — but Becki was unwilling to cooperate: "The more I tell you the name, the more you're going to understand why we're not talking to you right now."
According to the HuffPost report, the dispatcher log noted: "He won't let her take him to the hospital as he is stubborn. Caller was not forthcoming." Not just that, they found Jerry with head injuries and reported it could have been after he hit his head on a trash can. Blood and empty alcohol containers were found in the area. "Jerry had slurred and slowed speach (sic) and would repeat things already asked," he also said. As per the report, a responder observed lacerations on Jerry Falwell Jr’s face, including under his left eye, across the bridge of his nose, and above both his right and left eyes. The very next morning, Liberty University launched a comprehensive investigation by an outside firm into Falwell's tenure. The Falwells and a lawyer reportedly hired by Jerry Falwell Jr have not responded to phone calls, voice messages, or emails from HuffPost. Liberty University’s spokesman also didn't comment on the report.
Here's a look at the rise and fall of the 58-year-old former academic administrator and prominent member of the Evangelical Christian community.
A son's inheritance
Born on June 17, 1962, Jerry is the eldest son of Jerry Sr and Macel Falwell. A well-known Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist and conservative activist, his father was the founding pastor of a Lynchburg megachurch named Thomas Road Baptist Church. Not only did he founded Lynchburg Christian Academy — now Liberty Christian Academy — in 1967 and Liberty University in 1971, but also co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979. In his earlier years, Jerry studied at the academy and graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Arts in history and religious studies. From 1987 to 2007, he served as the lawyer for Liberty University and its related organizations and joined the Board of Trustees of the university in 2000.
His father was laid to rest in 2007 after his death. As part of a succession plan, Jerry Jr was appointed as the president at Liberty University and his other son, Jonathan Falwell inherited the ministry at Thomas Road Baptist Church — keeping in mind the former's business instincts and the latter's charismatic mind. Falwell's leadership soon came under fire — first for nepotism and dictatorship, then for his closeness to Donald Trump. Members of Congress, Andy Levin and Jamie Raskin penned down a letter to Betsy Devos stating how Falwell personally blocked students from writing anti-Trump columns.
Pool boy controversy and resignation
In August 2020, a photo surfaced where Falwell Jr could be seen with his unzipped trousers and his arm around a woman who was not his wife. In his hand, he held a glass with a dark liquid. "More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht," he captioned the photo. "I promise that's just black water in my glass." The racy photo created much controversy after which he agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence from Liberty University in Virginia.
One of the world's largest evangelical Christian colleges, the university stressed on its strict code of conduct and said: "The Executive Committee of Liberty University's Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, met today and requested that Jerry Falwell, Jr take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as President and Chancellor of Liberty University, to which he has agreed, effective immediately." As per reports, alcoholism was an underlying factor for the decision.
Barely a week or two after that, Falwell made a public statement that his wife had had an affair and the family was being blackmailed. The next day, Reuters published an explosive report where the real story involving a pool boy from the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel was revealed. "Giancarlo Granda says his sexual relationship with the Falwells began when he was 20. He says he had sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell Jr looked on," the story read.
On August 25, Falwell and Liberty University confirmed his resignation and reports said he will receive a $10.5 million compensation package from the evangelical school. His remarkable fall from grace has been recorded in the public and the sordid tale doesn't seem to have a good ending in sight.