- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2020

Jerry Falwell Jr. says his life turned into something akin to the 1987 film “Fatal Attraction” after his wife had an affair with a pool attendant the couple met in 2012.

The famous son of Jerry Falwell Sr. told The Washington Examiner on Sunday that his family’s “faith in Christ is greater than ever” after reconciling with his wife, although living in fear of the affair’s details going public has “got to end.”

“I’m just tired of it,” the suspended president of Liberty University told the newspaper.

“It was like living on a roller coaster,” Mr. Falwell said in the statement of alleged threats by Giancarlo Granda. “While completely dedicating ourselves to Liberty, we were also suffering in silence during our personal time together, while simultaneously trying to manage and deal with this increasingly threatening behavior, which only worsened over time. We were doing our best to respectfully unravel this ‘fatal attraction’ type situation to protect our family and the university.” 

“While we tried to distance ourselves from him over time, he unfortunately became increasingly angry and aggressive,” Mr. Falwell continued. “Eventually, he began threatening to publicly reveal this secret relationship with Becki and to deliberately embarrass my wife, family and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies.”

The couple met Mr. Granda when he was 21 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and eventually explored a business partnership.

He denies any wrongdoing.

“Any allegation of extortion is falsely [sic], defamatory and belied by clear documentary evidence,” the told the newspaper via email. “The Falwell’s attempt to sandbag me, and the Examiner, with a last-minute story without providing the Examiner clear evidence that this was not simply an ‘affair’ with concocted allegations of extortion reeks desperation. The WHOLE truth will come out.”

Mr. Falwell, who says he has suffered depression due over the ordeal, also came under fire this year after posting a “costume party” image of himself next to his wife’s assistant with his pants unzipped.

He has attributed the stress of spearheading Liberty University’s growth plan after the death of his father with affecting his mental health and the integrity of his marriage. 

“Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better too,” he wrote. “Even though I continued successfully working with our entire Liberty team to achieve so many of our goals, I am now dealing with things in a way that I should have done before — including seeking to address the emotional toll this has taken. I shouldn’t have been afraid to admit my vulnerabilities and to reach out for assistance from the mental health professionals who could have alleviated this pain and stress.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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