Liberty University just dropped a $30 million lawsuit on Jerry Falwell Jr. for being a nasty, drunken, lecher and ... HOOBOY! You know all those posts we wrote about Jerry and the poolboy, Jerry partying at the nightclub, Jerry posting pictures of his crotch on Instagram, Jerry doing pelvic thrusts into a barbell with two young women standing on it, Jerry passing around boudoir photos of his wife and blabbing about their sex life, and all Jerry's interesting financial arrangements?

Well, apparently, the board members at Liberty University read them, too. (Or other stories at different mommyblogs, that is also a possibility.) And they came to the conclusion that none of this was appropriate behavior for the president of a major evangelical institution.

According to the lawsuit, this video came out just two weeks after Falwell's wife Becki talked the board into letting Falwell go on sabbatical so he could enter treatment for alcoholism at the university's expense. Not cool, Jerry!

We are unable to judge the merits of this lawsuit, grounded as it is in Virginia contract law. Although we would note that the university hired extremely reputable counsel from McGuire Woods, not some rando who travels around the country filing pointless defamation suits. AHEM.

We are, however eminently qualified to tell you that it is HILARIOUS, with its tut-tutting about Falwell's personal moral failings and euphemistic references to "the Falwells' fraternization in high-energy social establishments," by which they mean dens of alcohol, dancing, and SIN!


Is it normal to allege in a court filing that an employee breached his fiduciary duty by being such a hussy?

Falwell and [Giancarlo] Granda both knew that matters of infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct expected of leaders at Liberty.

Dunno, but it's pretty funny! As is the lengthy description of "The Trailer Park Boys," a show we have never watched. No, not even when we were like super bored during covid and getting into trouble and drinking too much — which is a thing Falwell allegedly said to the board last summer, when he was promising to get his shit together and stop embarrassing the institution.

Back in October, Falwell himself filed a wrongful termination and defamation suit against the university alleging that it was cahootsing with the Lincoln Project to ruin his reputation. (LOL, wasn't 2020 just the best!) He later unsuited, which is Virginia-talk for pulling out of the case. Apt, huh?

Anyway, since Falwell can hardly deny the fact pattern he laid out in his own lawsuit, Liberty treats those as admitted facts in the instant complaint. Falwell says that his wife entered into a sexual relationship with then-20-year-old Giancarlo Granda after meeting him on a family vacation in 2012, after which Granda spent years threatening to expose them, causing Falwell to live in constant fear of having his life ruined.

And while the university says Falwell breached his contract by behaving in ways that violate the university's morals clause, the meat of the suit is a contract issue. The school alleges that Falwell, who had a fiduciary obligation to tell the school about this looming threat, instead renegotiated his employment contract in 2019 to maximize the payout because he knew that the situation with Granda was going to blow up in his face, and he was going to get fired.

Kinda looks like Falwell asked for a one-time bump up to $1.25 million, agreeing to keep that salary for 10 years, while knowing full well that he'd never make it that long, right?

And according to the suit, Falwell tried to couch the new severance provisions as an advantage to the school, which might feel the need to cut ties with him because of his association with President Trump.

"Falwell Jr. planned to use his growing awareness of personal attack which he had encountered in honorable service raising Liberty's profile in his attempt to relax the severance policies in the President's existing contract," they write. And in case that's not clear enough, because huh?, the complaint contains several pages laying out all the ways Falwell maneuvered the university into going along with his endorsement of such a nasty, immoral person.

Here's a sample.

The school alleges breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and conversion — which is more or less like stealing — because Falwell refuses to return documents and computers that would allow the school to examine his emails and work out exactly what happened. It's also alleging conspiracy, since the Falwells "conspired" with Granda to hide the affair and subsequent reputational risk to the school. And for their pains, the school would like $10 million, times three thanks to Virginia's conspiracy laws.

Is this what they mean by "white boy summer"? Probably not ... but it's gonna be a hot, hot mess.

OPEN THREAD!

[read the lawsuit at TPM]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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