Jerry Falwell Jr. made several different headlines earlier this year, including when he told students they could come back to Liberty University during the pandemic, made a cringey face mask "joke," and stepped down from Liberty after an odd photo of him emerged. Now, in an exclusive statement to the Washington Examiner, Falwell explains he's been suffering from depression, prompted by an affair his wife, Becki, had with a former family friend who then threatened to expose the affair and tried to extort them. Falwell says he and Becki met 21-year-old pool attendant Giancarlo Granda in 2012 at a hotel in Miami Beach, and the couple was "so impressed by his initiative" they included him in a real estate deal. Shortly after, however, Becki entered into what Falwell calls an "inappropriate personal relationship" with Granda. "I lost 80 pounds," Falwell says of his reaction after discovering the affair.
And it soon became a "roller coaster" and a "Fatal Attraction-like situation" after the Falwells tried to distance themselves from Granda, Falwell says, claiming that Granda got "increasingly angry and aggressive" and threatened to out the affair and embarrass the couple and Liberty University unless they paid him "substantial monies." Media outlets had reported on Granda's ties to the Falwells last year, which included whispers of "racy" photos involving the three. Granda denies to the Examiner any type of extortion attempt, calling the claim "defamatory" and promising that "the WHOLE truth will come out." The one silver lining for the Falwells: They reconciled after the affair. "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," Falwell says. More here. (Read more Jerry Falwell Jr. stories.)