Jerry Falwell Jr. says Liberty University’s lawsuit against him is set to ruin his reputation
In his lawsuit, Falwell says the university he ran sued him with the sole intention of ruining his reputation.
Jerry Falwell Jr. is petitioning a Virginia court to dismiss Liberty University’s lawsuit against him.
According to NBC News, Liberty filed his lawsuit against Falwell after the preacher left as university director. Farwell, notes NBC News, stepped down after the media released provocative pictures of him and details of his wife’s extramarital affair.
Now, Falwell says that Liberty’s lawsuit against him has more to do with his wife’s wrongdoing than with his “acts as the leader of Liberty.”
“The coming to terms with these events and the protected defamation of Falwell through litigation serves one purpose – to ruin Falwell’s reputation by mischaracterizing events and publicly shaming them through out of context images filed in a public lawsuit,” it says the preacher’s lament.
The Liberty University Student Union building. Image via Wikimedia Commons / user: Billy Hathorn. (CCA-BY-3.0).
Falwell, NBC News added, left Liberty University in August after a news agency published an interview with a man who claimed to have had an extramarital affair with Falwell’s wife.
The same man, NBC says, claimed Falwell participated in some of his wife’s sexual escapades.
While Falwell has since realized that the young man and his wife were having a sexual relationship, he claimed that he had not participated in any of their love affairs.
However, News & Advance reports that Liberty University’s lawsuit goes beyond the intricacies of Falwell’s marriage and personal life.
While Liberty’s lawsuit suggests that Falwell damaged his reputation and donor base through his “indiscretions,” the school alleges that Falwell was also blackmailed and extorted from his wife’s lover. Meanwhile, Falwell was negotiating for himself a multi-million dollar exit package.
“Despite his clear duties as an officer and official at Liberty, Falwell Jr. chose personal protection,” wrote Liberty’s attorneys in their lawsuit, accusing Falwell of de facto violating his duty of loyalty to the university by covering up alleged blackmail attempts would have.
Falwell may also have suffered from multiple alcohol-related mishaps or substance abuse; The lawsuit states that he also failed to disclose “the problem of his personal impairment from alcohol”.
Since leaving his post as leader of Liberty, Falwell Jr. has reportedly refused to return confidential materials and other property to the university.
To make amends for the damage to its reputation, Liberty is demanding that a court award the university tens of millions of dollars in damages.
However, Falwell has continued to defend himself, saying the university’s lawsuit is only intended to ruin his reputation. In addition, Falwell’s motion to the court states that he has no fiduciary or other duty to keep Liberty informed of developments in his personal life.
Falwell: LU lawsuit for “lewd false allegations”
Jerry Falwell Jr: The lawsuit filed by Liberty University is an excuse to shame him
Jerry Falwell Jr. wants Liberty University’s lawsuit dismissed and says it is an excuse to shame him