Former president of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr. found himself riding a wave of controversy when Miami based pool boy, Giancarlo Granda, came forward with several scandalous claims about a longstanding affair with Falwell's wife, Becki, after being groomed by the couple.
But the Evangelical Christian leader and notoriously right-leaning Falwell Jr. claimed he is the true victim in the scandal. He even began taking testosterone in an effort to win back his wife.
The fairly salacious scandal was recently revisited in an interview with Falwell Jr. by Gabriel Sherman for Vanity Fair.
Sherman reported Granda—who shared his story with the likes of The Washington Post and CNN—claimed to have had a seven year affair with Becki and Falwell Jr. frequently enjoyed watching their sexual encounters.
In exchange for his silence, Granda claimed he was rewarded with lavish trips and vacations, as well as ownership stake in property on Miami Beach.
Granda came forward with screenshots of texts he'd received from Becki, including one where she revealed she "wasn't wearing any panties."
But while Falwell Jr. acknowledged being aware of his wife's affair, he vehemently denied ever watching the pair have sex.
Instead, he expressed to Sherman he was a victim in a "Fatal Attraction-like extortion plot," and Granda demanded $2 million to stay silent.
Falwell told Sherman his wife's affair with Granda became something of a running gag in his family, with his children even creating "Where's Becki" T-shirts which they would wear when she went off on extended visits with Granda.
Falwell did take some responsibility in Becki's decision to partake in extramarital activities.
"The only way I could do it was to detach."
"I let it go on. I’m partly to blame."
"I was thinking maybe I was the reason she was lonely because I wasn’t taking care of myself."
Sherman went on to report in an effort to win Becki back, Falwell began meeting with a physical trainer and began taking testosterone supplements.
Falwell Jr. would also blame some of his highly publicized and highly undignified behavior—such as a controversial Instagram post featuring a man in black-face posing with a member of the KKK or a picture of himself with his pants unzipped embracing a bare-bellied pregnant woman—on the side effects from "supplements."
One imagine's Falwell Jr. expected to be greeted with sympathy and support after sharing his side of the story.
But reactions on social media were anything but sympathetic.
Most reacted with amusement and jokes at Falwell Jr.'s expense.
While some noted Falwell Jr.'s behavior was a far cry from the ultra-conservative, Evangelical Christian beliefs he became so famous for espousing.
If Falwell Jr. hoped his Vanity Fair interview would be effective damage control, reactions suggest he might not have been too successful .
Not helping matters, Granda is far from finished with telling his side of the story.
Granda reportedly has both a tell-all book and a Hulu documentary in the works.
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