A pool boy. An affair. Blackmail.
No, it’s not the predictable plot of a made-for-TV movie but instead a salacious story involving former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., his wife Becki and a pool boy the Christian couple claims put them on a path of destruction, desperation and depression.
Falwell Jr. claims a “fatal attraction” threat to expose an affair his wife had eight years ago triggered an emotional roller coaster for his family ahead of his suspension from his collegiate post earlier this month.
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On Friday, the Virginia-based private Evangelical university said it was investigating “rumors and claims” about Falwell Jr.
The 58-year-old father has recently been in the news following a public scandal where he posted a vacation photo of himself with his pants unzipped and his arm high around the waist of his wife’s pregnant assistant. Falwell Jr., an attorney who is a strong supporter of President Trump, was placed on an indefinite leave of absence. The move sent shockwaves through the conservative Christian school.
On Friday, Falwell Jr. released a lengthy statement about the infidelity of his wife and the situation that ensued, telling the Washington Examiner, “I’m just tired of it. It’s got to end.”
In the statement, Falwell Jr. claims he forgave his wife but said over time the Miami pool attendant she allegedly had an affair with “became increasingly angry and aggressive” and “began threatening to publicly reveal his secret relationship with Becki and to deliberately embarrass my wife, family and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies.”
Falwell Jr. added that, “we were doing our best to respectfully unravel this ‘fatal attraction’ type of situation to protect our family and the University.”
During his personal time with his family, Falwell Jr. claims they were all “suffering in silence” while “simultaneously trying to manage and deal with this increasingly threatening behavior, which only worsened over time.”
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“It was like living on a roller coaster,” he said.
Falwell Jr. said his family tried to remain friendly with the Miami man and his family but that threatening texts and demands for large amounts of money forced them to cut off the relationship.
“While we tried to distance ourselves from him over time, he unfortunately became increasingly angry and aggressive,” Falwell Jr. said.
Falwell Jr.’s late father founded the Lynchburg, Va. school with hopes or turning it into the evangelical equivalent of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
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Falwell Jr., who did not follow in his father’s footsteps into the ministry, took over Liberty in 2007. During that time, Falwell Jr. worked to shore up Liberty’s finances, overhaul its campus with more than $1 billion in construction projects, grow its endowment and increase its online enrollment.
According to The Associated Press, Liberty’s net assets topped $2.3 billion according to its most recently available tax filings, up from less than $220,000 in 2008.
Fox News has reached out to the Falwell family and Liberty University with a request for comment on this story.