A former business partner and "pool boy" for Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. claims that he engaged in regular sexual encounters with the university leader's wife, Becki Falwell, over the course of several years — and that Falwell would often watch the two have sex.
What are the details?
Speaking with Reuters, Giancarlo Granda alleged that his relationship with the Falwells, which began when he was 20, spanned seven years before it eventually soured.
Here's more from the report:
Giancarlo Granda says he was 20 when he met Jerry and Becki Falwell while working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in March 2012. Starting that month and continuing into 2018, Granda told Reuters that the relationship involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.
Granda showed Reuters emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987. "Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room," Granda said in an interview. Now 29, he described the liaisons as frequent – "multiple times per year" – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells' home in Virginia.
Granda reportedly shared a screenshot of a FaceTime call he had with the Falwells in 2019 in which "Becki was naked as the two discussed their relationship while Jerry peeked from behind a door."
He also shared a screenshot of a text from 2012 in which Becki Falwell allegedly told him: "Right now I am just missing you like crazy .... Have you had this effect on all of your lady friends?"
Sunday night, ahead of the report's release, Falwell issued a statement to the Washington Examiner confirming that his wife "had an inappropriate personal relationship with [Granda]" but claimed it was short-lived and denied any personal involvement.
In the statement, he also accused Granda of attempting to extort the couple for several years by threatening to go public about the affair unless he was paid large sums of money.
"Even years after the improper relationship had ended, this person continued to be aggressive with Becki and me in a variety of ways. We finally decided that we had to further withdraw completely from him, which resulted in him stepping up his threats," Falwell said. "Over the course of the last few months this person's behavior has reached a level that we have decided the only way to stop this predatory behavior is to go public."
"I'm just tired of it," Falwell reportedly added regarding the anxiety he's felt over the situation. "It's just got to end."
In the Reuters article, Granda denied the accusations of extortion. In response to the outlet, Falwell's lawyer, Michael Bowe, said Falwell "categorically denies everything you indicated you intend to publish about him."
The allegation follows another controversy surrounding one of America's most publicly visible conservative evangelicals.
Early this month, Falwell agreed to step down from his post at Liberty University indefinitely at the request of the school's board of trustees after he was hit with backlash for posting a since-deleted vacation photo on Instagram of him and his wife's assistant, both with their pants partially unzipped.
In the post's caption, Falwell wrote, "More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that's just black water in my glass. It was a prop only."
Falwell would later tell a local radio station the photo was "just in good fun." He said his wife's assistant was pregnant and couldn't get her pants zipped up so he joined her.