Jerry Falwell Jr. sues Liberty University after being forced to resign
By Danielle Jarvis
October 30, 2020
Jerry Falwell, Jr., the former President and Chancellor of Liberty University, has sued Liberty University, the school founded by his father, Dr. Jerry Falwell, which Falwell, Jr. after being forced to resign over a number of complaints.
In his Complaint filed in the Commonwealth of Virginia Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg, Mr. Falwell claims that Liberty University needlessly injured and damaged his reputation through a series of statements, published in print and spoken in large public forums and streamed online, following his forced resignation from the University.
According to the Complaint, these statements had the effect of affirming false claims that an individual made publicly against Mr. Falwell after years-long attempts at extortion against Falwell and his wife Becki. Based on research and investigation, this individual appears to be supported financially by political opponents of Mr. Falwell in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, likely including the anti-Trump political action committee called The Lincoln Project.
The Complaint, which includes claims of Defamation and Breach of Contract, alleges that Liberty University officials accepted the false claims against Mr. Falwell without investigation to force his resignation, and then engaged in a campaign to “tarnish, minimize, and outright destroy the legacy of the Falwell family and Mr. Falwell’s reputation.”
“We attempted to meet several times with the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee but were unsuccessful in doing so. Thus, we were forced to seek remedy for Mr. Falwell’s ongoing injuries and damage to his reputation through the Court,” said Robert Raskopf of Quinn Emanuel, the lead counsel representing Mr. Falwell.
“Other than God and my family, there is nothing in the world I love more than Liberty University,” said Jerry Falwell, Jr. “I am saddened that University officials, with whom I have shared so much success and enjoyed such positive relationships, jumped to conclusions about the claims made against my character, failed to properly investigate them, and then damaged my reputation following my forced resignation.
“While I have nothing but love and appreciation for the Liberty community, and I had hoped to avoid litigation, I must take the necessary steps to restore my reputation and hopefully help repair the damage to the Liberty University brand in the process,” he concluded.
Falwell states that he saved Liberty from financial collapse and built it into the leading Evangelical Christian university in the world over his 13-year stewardship as President.
Falwell was ousted after a number of complaints were made against him, with the school finally removing him – but not before giving him a $10.5 million payout. He was originally took leave, but then resigned, with the Board’s Chairman, Dr. Jerry Prevo, taking over the running of the school.