Falwell’s departure from the Virginia Evangelical School founded by his father came after Giancarlo Granda, a young business partner in the Falwell family, said he had had a years-long sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife, Becki Falwell, and that Jerry Falwell had been involved in some of the liaisons. as a voyeur. Falwell denied the report. Falwell alleged that Granda extorted the family, which Granda denied.
Liberty claims Falwell has crafted a “well-endowed exit strategy” from his role as the school’s president and chancellor in the form of a lucrative employment contract for 2019 while withholding damaging information about the personal scandal that has exploded in public view the following year. The deal included a raise, which Falwell said was $ 250,000 and severance pay of $ 2.5 million.
The lawsuit demanding at least $ 10 million alleged that Falwell had breached her fiduciary duties to the school and had entered into a business plot against her. Fiduciary duties do not include disclosure of personal matters, however embarrassing, argued Vernon Inge, an attorney representing Falwell, on Friday. Falwell could not be engaged in a business conspiracy with Granda against the university when the men were at odds, he argued.
Inge asked the court to order the university to cut out many images and statements in the lawsuit which are irrelevant and which are “frank, frankly, of personal attacks.”
Whether Falwell had an obligation to disclose the alleged extortion attempts is up to a jury, said Scott Oostdyk, the attorney representing the university.
Falwell’s 2019 contract will remain under seal while lawyers file arguments on whether to protect him over the next two weeks. Liberty will be able to amend sections of the lawsuit regarding the digital and computer property that the university alleges Falwell illegally retained after his resignation. Lawyers said on Friday he was keeping a computer containing more than 100,000 university records.