Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University late Monday night after a tumultuous day in which he argued with the university’s board of trustees over his future at the school.
During a phone call to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Falwell said he had just sent his resignation letter to the Virginia Christian School Board of Trustees. Mr Falwell was on indefinite leave two weeks ago, following criticism of a photo he posted on social media showing him with his pants unbuttoned, a cup of black liquid in one hand and his other arm wrapped around a woman. The woman, who Mr Falwell said was his wife’s assistant, also had her pants open.
“The board has put me on leave, stripped me of my prez duties, and that is not permitted by my contract,” Falwell said Monday evening. “And they put me on leave because of pressure from Pharisaic people.”
He said he still owed his full compensation.
In a statement from them Monday night, Liberty officials said Mr Falwell agreed to resign earlier on Monday and then turned the tide. Since he was put on leave two weeks ago, “more has come to light, making it clear that it would not be in the best interests of the University for him to return from leave and take up the post of president, ”the university press release said.
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Pressure for the college to separate permanently from Mr Falwell had intensified on Monday, after Reuters reported that Mr Falwell, 58, and his wife, Becki Falwell, had had a multi-year sexual relationship with Giancarlo Granda . Mr Granda told Reuters he met the Falwells at a Miami hotel in 2012 when he was 20; he said he would have sex with Ms Falwell, while Mr Falwell watched.
Mr Falwell said his wife had an affair with Mr Granda but did not participate in it and accused Mr Granda of trying to extort them. “Most of what this guy said, the extortionist, is not true.
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