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Liberty University Sues Jerry Falwell Jr. for $10M Months After He Resigned amid Sex Scandal

·3 min read

Alex Wong/Getty Jerry Falwell Jr.

Liberty University has filed suit against Jerry Falwell Jr., accusing its disgraced former president and chancellor of, among other things, leading a "scheme" to keep his alleged sex scandal from the school.

The suit, published by POLITICO, is seeking more than $10 million in damages amid claims that Falwell's multiple "indiscretions" damaged the reputation of the evangelical Liberty, which Falwell's father founded in 1971.

Falwell Jr. is accused of failing to inform Liberty — from which he resigned in August — of the threat posed by Giancarlo Granda, a former Miami pool attendant who told Reuters that he had an affair with Falwell's wife Becki while Falwell "enjoyed watching from the corner of the room."

Both Falwell and Becki have confirmed her affair with Granda took place, though both have denied Falwell's involvement, and have accused Granda of trying to blackmail them, which he has denied in the past and denied once again in a statement to PEOPLE in October.

RELATED VIDEO: Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Wife Reportedly Called 911 About 'A Lot of Blood' on Husband amid Sex Scandal

The suit claims that Falwell had a "fiduciary duty to provide material information to the Board, refrain from acts harmful to the interests of Liberty, avoid conflicts of interest, and reject opportunities to benefit his personal interests to the detriment of Liberty."

It alleges that Falwell breached that duty by accepting a severance payment from the school in August that was part of an earlier agreement Liberty said it would not have made had it been aware of the Granda scandal.

The suit lays out a series of so-called "indiscretions" committed by Falwell, including increased alcohol use (Liberty University students are not permitted to drink alcohol).

Alex Wong/Getty; Shannon Finney/Getty; Facebook From left: Jerry Falwell Jr., Becki Falwell and Giancarlo Granda

"Falwell Jr. and Granda both knew that matters of infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct of leaders at Liberty," the suit says, while also accusing Falwell, Becki, Granda and others of acting "intentionally [and] purposefully" to conceal Granda's alleged "extortive acts."

The suit, which was filed on Thursday in circuit court in Lynchburg, Virginia, also claims that Falwell has refused to return Liberty property, including computers and devices, as well as confidential information pertaining to students, employees, finances and others.

RELATED: Jerry Falwell Jr. Sues Liberty University for Defamation Following Resignation amid Sex Scandal

The actions of Falwell and Granda have allegedly affected Liberty's enrollment and donor base, as well as damaged its reputation, according to the suit.

A lawyer for Falwell did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, though Falwell told POLITICO he had not yet seen the lawsuit.

When reached by email, Granda directed PEOPLE to a statement he issued on Twitter, which shot down the claims put forth in Liberty's suit.

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"Liberty University's lawsuit continues to perpetuate a false narrative," Granda's statement read. "The truth detailing the Falwells' — and their enablers' — abuse of power, predatory behavior and corruption will come in due time."

Liberty spokesperson Scott Lamb told PEOPLE that the school's "only word on the subject is the lawsuit itself."

RELATED: Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Resignation Greeted with 'Relief' at Liberty University, Alum Says

The new lawsuit comes after Falwell sued Liberty in October, accusing the school of defaming him and ruining his reputation by sharing statements "that affirm the outrageous lies of an unstable individual" who allegedly attempted to blackmail him.

He voluntarily dismissed the suit in December, according to the suit filed by Liberty.