Becki Falwell has denied claims that her evangelist husband Jerry watched her having sex with a Miami pool boy as she broke her silence on the scandal on Tuesday and said she wished people were more forgiving.
Giancarlo Granda, now 29, claims he was picked up by Becki in 2012 at the pool of the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami, where he was working. He has given a series of interviews to various outlets, sharing differing degrees of detail about their dalliances.
He claims Jerry knew about the affair, watched them having sex, including once in his Speedos.
Becki – who was blamed by her husband for the entire scandal on Sunday – said that was not true.
In an interview with The Washington Post, she said: ‘I wish Christians and people would be as forgiving as Christ was.’
Jerry called Granda’s claims ’90 percent false’ and said he stepped down from Liberty not because of him but because he was ‘starting to get bored’.
‘I’ve accomplished all I can accomplish and I want to move on. I was starting to get bored.’
Earlier in the day, he quoted Martin Luther King Jr, telling a local reporter in Lynchburg, Virginia: ‘It’s a relief. The quote that keeps going through my mind this morning is Martin Luther Ling Jr: “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last.”‘
In his interview with Politico, Granda said she targeted him after watching him talk with girls his own age.
‘During my work shift at the Fontainebleau Hotel in March 2012, I was chatting with some girls my age (20 at the time). Becki said, “Those girls don’t know what they’re doing, you need someone with more experience,”‘ he said.
The pair went back to her hotel room at her suggestion, he claimed, which is where he says she brought up Jerry – the head of Liberty University at the time – and said he ‘liked to watch’.
‘She goes, “But one thing.” And I’m like, “Okay.”And she’s like, “My husband likes to watch.” And just then he comes out and he’s wearing a Speedo,’ he said.
Over the course of the next six years, he claims he and Becki had sex several times a year, in hotel rooms in Miami but also at the Falwell’s home in Virginia.
‘He enjoyed watching us in person and also remotely through video cameras. He also listened to our phone calls,’ Granda claimed.
Jerry Falwell Jr. claimed on Sunday night, before Granda’s side of the story became public, that Becki had an affair with the young man that he did not know about at first and that it devastated him when he found out about it.
He said he was not involved in it, and that they maintained a relationship with him for years afterwards on the advice of lawyers because Granda was unstable and unpredictable.
Falwell Jr. claims Granda has been trying to extort the pair for years.
Granda insists he is trying to get out of a business they run together – an LGBTQ hostel in Miami that the Falwells invested in and gave him the run of after they met.
The entire saga led to Falwell’s resignation from Liberty this week.
Many have labeled him a hypocrite for running such a strict religious institution and telling students how to behave while allegedly engaged in a sordid, sexual triangle with his wife and Granda.
It is not the first scandal to rock the Falwells and shake their connection to Liberty.
In 2019, Falwell settled a lawsuit with a different young man – Gordon Bello – who claims he had a ‘personal relationship’ with Becki.
He claimed that he was entitled to a stake in the hostel and sued the couple for it. The matter was settled privately with an undisclosed monetary sum that Falwell Jr. agreed to pay Bello.
Separately, Falwell Jr’s relationship with a personal trainer has also come into question.
In 2011, Falwell and his wife had personal training sessions with Benjamin Crosswhite, a 23-year-old Liberty graduate.
Liberty ‘agrees to finance the purchase’ at a 3% interest rate, the contract says.
To help Crosswhite in the transaction, Liberty was lending Falwell´s fitness trainer more than half a million dollars to buy its property. The university would receive no cash up front from the sale, the contract shows.
Crosswhite claimed at the time that he and his wife ‘bought’ it from Liberty.
He also accompanied the couple on Liberty’s private jet to Miami for his annual physical, saying he needed to be there to explain to Falwell’s doctor how his diet and exercise program impacted his health.
The controversy erupted after Giancarlo Granda, 29, spoke out on Monday in an interview with Reuters where he contradicted Falwell’s claims that he was trying to extort the pair and had an affair with his wife, and gave more details about his alleged sexual relationship with them.
He said he was 20 when he met the pair in Miami and that starting in March 2012, he had sex with Falwell’s wife Becki several times a year in hotel rooms, sometimes while Falwell Jr. watched, until 2018.
‘Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,’ Granda said.
During that time, the trio went into business together with an LGBTQ-friendly hostel in Miami that Granda runs.
He said that he was used as a ‘target’ for the couple’s ‘sexual escapades’ and that he was not trying to extort the pair, even though he threatened to go ‘the kamikaze route’ if they didn’t give him what he wanted.
He sat down with Reuters earlier this month. They went to Falwell Jr. with Granda’s claims, which is what prompted his statement on Sunday night.
Granda described the liaisons as frequent – ‘multiple times per year’ – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells’ home in Virginia.
On Sunday night, Falwell Jr. – a prominent Trump endorser and one of the most influential right-wing Christians in America – told The Washington Examiner that he and his family were being extorted.
He said Becki had an affair with Granda that he had ‘no involvement in’, and that he’d chosen to forgive his wife.
Granda claims the opposite.
He showed Reuters texts from Becki where she said she was ‘missing him like crazy’ and also gave an audio recording of her complaining about hearing about the other women Granda had been intimate with.
Falwell Jr. was also on the call and told him that he was going to make his wife ‘jealous’. ‘He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something,’ Becki said.
Falwell then chimed in: ‘You’re going to make her jealous.’ Granda replied: ‘I’m not trying to do that.’
He insists he was trying to negotiate a buyout from the hostel business and that he was not extorting the pair.
In one text to them, he said: ‘Since you’re okay with ruining my life, I am going to take the kamikaze route.
‘It really is a shame because I wanted to reach a peaceful resolution and just move on with our lives but if conflict is what you want, then so be it.’
In his statement on Sunday night, Falwell Jr. said, in part: ‘Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved…it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about.’
Granda’s friendship with the Falwells eventually soured, he said, in part because he wanted to dissolve his ties with the couple and fell into a business dispute with them.