Liberty University sues former president Jerry Falwell Jr

Jerry Falwell Jr. giving a speech at the Liberty University commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, 2019.(Photo: Facebook/Liberty University)

Liberty University is suing former president and chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr over alleged breach of contract.

The university is seeking $10m in damages over this and alleged breach of fiduciary duty and statutory conspiracy. 

It is the latest development in the acrimonious split between Falwell Jr and the evangelical university he led for 13 years after the death of his father, Jerry Falwell Sr in 2007. 

Falwell Jr stepped down last year after several weeks of scandal that started when he shared a photo on his Instagram with his pants unzipped, exposing part of his underwear. 

This was followed shortly after by explosive claims from Giancarlo Granda, a former pool boy and business associate, who claimed to have had a years-long affair with Falwell Jr's wife.

The Falwells claimed Granda was trying to blackmail them. 

The lawsuit references the Granda controversy.

"Despite his clear duties as an executive and officer at Liberty, Falwell Jr. chose personal protection," it reads, according to the Associated Press.

"[Falwell had a] fiduciary duty to disclose Granda's extortive actions, and to disclose the potential for serious harm to Liberty.

[Falwell] furthered the conspiracy of silence and negotiated a 2019 Employment Agreement that contained a higher salary from Liberty."

Falwell Jr formerly resigned on August 25 with a severance package of $10.5m, with Liberty announcing shortly after that it was investigating "all facets" of its former president's tenure. 

Then in October, Falwell Jr said he was suing the university for defamation and breach of contract over comments it made at the time of his resignation. He withdrew the legal action a couple of months later. 

Earlier this week, Liberty spokesperson Scott Lamb confirmed that his son Jerry Falwell III, also known as Trey, was no longer vice president of support services at Liberty, but did not give a reason for his departure.