Liberty Sues Falwell for at Least $30M

Filing cites moral failures, in violation of school policy
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2021 3:36 PM CDT
Liberty Sues Falwell Over Moral Breaches
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., shown in 2019, has been hit with a new lawsuit.   (Emily Elconin/The News & Advance via AP, File)

The school he used to run requires a commitment to Biblical standards of morality. When Jerry Falwell Jr. covered up his wife's affair with a pool attendant, who demanded money to keep the secret, he violated that agreement, a new lawsuit says. Liberty University sued its former president Thursday for at least $30 million, Reuters reports. The suit accuses Falwell of entangling his university job with his personal life though he knew "infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct expected of leaders at Liberty." The suit was filed in Virginia state court. Falwell sued the Christian school last fall for defamation and breach of contract but dropped the case in December. Falwell did not immediately comment on the suit against him.

Liberty's board of trustees was due on campus in Lynchburg on Friday, per the New York Times, partly to discuss its search for a new leader; an interim president has been in charge since August. One of the accusations in the lawsuit is that Falwell was deceptive in talking the board’s executive committee into reworking his contract to increase his severance payment if he resigned for good reason or if the university ended his contract without cause. Liberty also wants its computers, phones, and other devices back. The devices hold confidential university data, the suit says, and Falwell has refused to return them or provide access codes. A forensic accounting firm is investigating school operations during Falwell's presidency. Falwell apparently has not given up on having a relationship with Liberty; he posted photographs last month on social media of his family at a school lacrosse game. (More Jerry Falwell Jr. stories.)

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