Jerry Falwell Jr is suing his old university for “damaging his reputation” after he was pushed out over a sex scandal with a pool boy.
Falwell, a key Trump ally and one of the most powerful figures in the evangelical movement, was removed as head of the powerful private Christian university in August after he and his wife were accused of pursuing an improper relationship with a 20-year-old pool boy.
Now, he has claimed in a lawsuit that he was wrongly pushed out by the university, and that the decision damaged his reputation.
The lawsuit, filed in state court in Lynchburg, Virginia, claimed that Liberty University defamed Falwell and breached his contract, NBC News reports.
“Mr Falwell has suffered damage to his reputation, damage to his profession, humiliation, and anguish; lost business opportunities; and suffered pecuniary damage,” the complaint said.
A spokesperson from Liberty University said it had not yet seen the lawsuit and said they would need to “read and review” his complaint before commenting.
Jerry Falwell Jr was pushed out of Liberty University over a pool boy sex scandal.
Before he was removed as president of the Christian university, Falwell Jr was known for implementing tyrannical policies such as banning gay sex between students and banning LGBT+ student groups.
But it was the pool boy sex scandal, as well as a racy drunken photo posted to Instagram, that led to his swift fall from grace.
Falwell Jr found himself embroiled in controversy when Miami Beach pool boy Giancarlo Granda claimed in an interview with Reuters that he had had “an intimate relationship” with Falwell’s wife Becki.
In explosive claims, Granda said Jerry Falwell Jr enjoyed watching them have sex “from the corner of the room”.
The former pool boy met the pair in 2012, when he was aged just 20, and says he engaged in sexual encounters with the Falwells “multiple times per year” at their home near Liberty University in Virginia as well as at hotels in New York and Miami.
Days later, Falwell Jr resigned from his post as president of Liberty University – however, the university later said it had launched an investigation into his financial conduct during his tenure at the university.
Mr Falwell has suffered damage to his reputation, damage to his profession, humiliation, and anguish; lost business opportunities; and suffered pecuniary damage.
The university said it had asked for Falwell’s “immediate resignation” following the sex scandal.
A spokesperson also said they had employed a leading forensic firm to conduct “a thorough investigation into all facets of Liberty University operations during Jerry Falwell Jr’s tenure as president, including but not limited to financial, real estate, and legal matters”.
Falwell initially put on a brave face when he was pushed out by the university, telling NPR that he was “free at last”.
“Thank God almighty, I am free at last! That’s the way, I feel,” he said.
Falwell said he is leaving “because I think I’ve done all I can do” in the post.
He added: “It’s better to leave at the top.”
Falwell’s exit deal included a reported $10 million severance payment.