After drama, denial and dispute, it became official: Jerry Falwell Jr. has resigned as president of Liberty University.
The school announced his departure Aug. 25, saying Liberty’s board of trustees had accepted his resignation. The move came amid escalating controversy over Falwell’s conduct, as well as allegations that he condoned an affair between his wife and a man he described as a family friend. The man, who was also a business partner, told Reuters that he had a sexual relationship with Becki Falwell from 2012-2018, and alleged that Jerry watched some of their encounters.
Following publication of the Reuters report, multiple news outlets reported Falwell had agreed to resign. When Falwell denied those reports, Liberty sent a statement saying he had agreed to resign and then reversed course. In a statement announcing his departure, Liberty spokesman Scott Lamb said Falwell, through an attorney, later sent a resignation letter to members of the board of trustees’ Executive Committee.
Falwell, son of Liberty founder Jerry Falwell Sr., had been president since his father’s death in 2007, and presided over an era of tremendous growth for the university. But he had been on indefinite leave since Aug. 7 after criticism for posting a photo to social media that showed him on a donor’s yacht with his pants unzipped and his arm around a female Liberty employee. He told a local radio station the photo was taken during a costume party while he was on vacation.