The conservative, evangelical college seeks $30m from Jerry Falwell Jr for damages stemming from ‘immodesty’.
Liberty College has sued its former president Jerry Falwell Jr, a as soon as influential determine amongst US evangelical Christians, saying he undermined its ethical requirements by concealing his spouse’s affair with a pool attendant who tried to extort them.
The criticism filed on Thursday in a state courtroom in Lynchburg, Virginia seeks not less than $30 million in damages.
It stated Falwell, 58, breached his duties by refusing to reveal his and his spouse Becki’s relationship with the attendant, and negotiating a better wage and severance package deal when he knew the affair might harm the varsity.
Liberty stated Falwell improperly combined his college duties along with his private life regardless of realizing that “infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a free life-style would stand in stark distinction to the conduct anticipated of leaders at Liberty.”
Falwell didn’t instantly reply to a textual content and a voice message on Friday in search of remark.
Attorneys who’ve represented Falwell in current litigation couldn’t instantly be reached or didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Falwell resigned from Liberty final August, sooner or later after the pool attendant, Giancarlo Granda, advised Reuters that he had a multi-year sexual relationship with the Falwells.
Granda had met the Falwells in Miami in 2012, 5 years after Falwell turned Liberty’s president. Falwell had succeeded his late father Jerry Falwell Sr, the outstanding televangelist and Liberty’s founder.
Liberty stated Falwell’s conduct contravened the “Liberty Means”, its time period for centering life on a rigorous schooling and a dedication to religion and to Biblical requirements of morality.
It needs Falwell to pay $10 million in compensatory damages, which it stated may be tripled underneath Virginia regulation, plus punitive and different damages. It additionally needs him to return telephones, computer systems and different property belonging to the varsity.
A spokesman for Liberty declined Reuter’s request to touch upon the lawsuit.
Whereas at Liberty, Falwell had develop into a drive in American conservative politics, and his endorsement of Donald Trump within the 2016 US presidential race helped win over evangelicals in a crowded Republican discipline.
Previous to his departure, Falwell took a depart of absence after posting on social media, after which deleting, a photograph of himself along with his arm round his spouse’s assistant, the place his pants had been partially unzipped. Falwell later advised a neighborhood radio station the photograph was meant as a joke.
In October, Falwell had sued Liberty for defamation, saying it broken his fame by lending credence to what he referred to as Granda’s “lies”. He dropped that lawsuit in December.