Becki Falwell had a sexual encounter with one of her son’s 22-year-old Liberty University classmates in 2008 and pursued him for months after, Politico reports.
The former student told the outlet that he and Trey Falwell were in a rock band together, and while the former student stayed in a guest room the Falwells’ house after a rehearsal, Becki Falwell entered his room and began to perform oral sex on him. Her husband, Jerry Falwell, Jr., then the university’s president, was away. The former student, originally from North Carolina and speaking anonymously, told the outlet he acquiesced to her advances but rejected later ones. He was 22 at the time. A fellow bandmate, also unnamed, said the former student described the encounter to him within a month of its occurrence. The bandmate also said Becki Falwell would flirt with the student during band practices while her son was present.
Becki and Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement to Politico: “It is unfortunate that the coverage of our departure has turned into a frenzy of false and fantastic claims about us. These false and mean spirited lies have hurt us and our family greatly and we will respond fully with the truth at an appropriate time.”
In a statement to Politico, Liberty University vice president Scott Lamb stressed the school’s “policies against employees having sexual relationships with students, as well as having other inappropriate relationships outside of marriage, whether consensual or not. Becki Falwell was an employee in 2008 and such policies would have fully applied to her as spouse of the then-university Chancellor and President.”
He said no students registered sexual misconduct claims with the university against Becki Falwell.
“This is a fresh allegation, as far as we can tell,” he said.
A series of messages sent via Facebook depict Becki Falwell complimenting the student with effusive praise. He told Politico she originally reached out via a fake account after he declined her repeated phone calls. At one point, she congratulated him on finding a girlfriend.
“Jennifer said she wants you to cut bangs when you get your hair cut. I think you are beautiful just like you are. You don’t want to cover up those killer eyes of yours and you know the bandana drives me wild…” the messages shared by the student show.
The student continued to deny Falwell’s propositions for months, according to Politico, and she later wrote him a message expressing remorse: “Maybe time will heal whatever wounds that I have caused and your Christian heart will allow you to forgive me.” He said he suffers guilt and depression as a result of the encounter, which made him question his faith, and previously did not want to make his account public so as not to cause the Falwells and Liberty harm.
“I don’t want to be a homewrecker,” the former student told Politico. “That took a toll on the soul.” He added that the incident “really put a hurt on [me] because I trusted her as a friend.”
As one of the nation’s foremost evangelical Christian families, the Falwells have made a career of preaching strict adherence to conservative Christian sexual mores, including enforcing a stringent code of conduct on Liberty students that disallows sex outside of marriage. Jerry Jr. was also one of President Donald Trump’s earliest and best-known evangelical backers.
Jerry Jr. resigned his post as Liberty president amid uproar over his sexual behavior. An Instagram post he himself made showed him with his arm around his wife’s assistant, beer in hand and pants unzipped, underwear on display. Students at Liberty, by contrast, are required to dress “modestly.” The school’s board put him on an “indefinite leave of absence.”
The week the Instagram post, a former Miami hotel pool boy named Giancarlo Granda said he had participated in a sexual relationship with both the Falwells beginning when he was 20 and lasting seven years. He specified that Jerry Jr. enjoyed watching Granda have sexual intercourse with Becki. Granda later formed a business partnership with the Falwells that soured and resulted in a lawsuit. Jerry Jr. acknowledged that Granda and his wife had an affair, though Becki has denied her husband’s involvement in it.
The former student said Becki Falwell texted him about the cascading controversies this week after he had not heard from her in eight years. “This is a nightmare. It just keeps getting worse,” she wrote.
The former student responded that he would pray for her, he told Politico.