Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned Monday from his role as president of Liberty University in Virginia, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
“The board put me on leave, took away my duties as ‘prez,’ and that’s not permitted by my contract,” Falwell reportedly told the Journal. “And they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.”
Falwell steps down
According to the Journal, Liberty’s board of directors said Falwell had agreed to resign earlier Monday before changing his mind.
However, “additional matters came to light that made it clear that it would not be in the best interest of the University for him to return from leave and serve as President,” the board said.
Falwell was first placed on administrative leave earlier this month, the Journal reported separately, after he posted a controversial image on Instagram of himself and a woman who he later identified as his wife’s assistant.
In the photo, which was archived by Reuters, both individuals can be seen with their pants unzipped, while Falwell is holding a drink. A cation read: “More vacation shots. Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht. I promise that’s just black water in my hand. It was a prop only.”
More trouble for Falwell
Adding to Falwell’s despair, new allegations are swirling after Reuters released a report featuring an interview with Giancarlo Granda, a Florida man who claims that he carried on a long-term affair with Falwell’s wife, and that the university president both knew and approved of the relationship.
Reuters also reported that Granda had provided them with a screenshot of a FaceTime call in which Mrs. Falwell could be seen naked as her husband peeked in from behind a door.
In response, Falwell acknowledged that his wife had an affair with Granda, but denied playing any role in it and accused Granda of attempting to extort him, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Falwell told The Washington Post that he will receive $10.5 million as part of his severance deal, with $2.5 million to be paid out over the next two years and another $8 million in retirement funds.
Falwell became president of Liberty University in 2007 following the death of his father, noted religious broadcaster and conservative activist Jerry Falwell, Sr.
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty boasts a 7,000-acre campus and an undergraduate population of nearly 46,000 students, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2019, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a commencement address there.