Falwell previously in the week was extensively condemned, including by some conservatives, for publishing and then erasing the yacht getaway photo. Liberty University has a stringent code of conduct for students that, among other things, prohibits students from having sexual relations beyond a “biblically-ordained” marriage and taking in media with raunchy lyrics, sexual content and nudity.
On Wednesday, Falwell said he had “apologized to everyone” for the image but also defended the occurrence as a getaway “outfit party” that was “simply in excellent fun.” He included: “I’m gon na try to be an excellent young boy from here on out.”
Falwell has actually led Liberty University, based in Lynchburg, Va., because 2007 when he took over from his father, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., who established the school.
Liberty over the past years has actually grown considerably in size, registering today more than 100,000 students, mostly through its huge online operations. Liberty is among the biggest non-profit universities in the country. Falwell’s payment was more than $1 million, according to the university’s latest tax filings. The university’s endowment deserves $1.6 billion.
On Friday evening, Jerry Prevo, the chairman of Liberty’s Board of Trustees, issued a declaration: “In the 13 years that Jerry Falwell, Jr. has served as president of Liberty University, Liberty has actually experienced unmatched success, not only academically and economically, with a first-rate school, but also spiritually. As we enter our 50th Anniversary year, we have actually been blessed to grow to a record 120,000 trainees, both domestic and online, and continue to fulfill our founder’s mission to Train Champions for Christ across the world.
“Sadly, with this success and the burdens of leading a large and growing organization comes significant pressure. Today, my coworkers and I on the Liberty University Board of Trustees and Jerry equally agreed that it would benefit him to take an indefinite leave of absence. This was a choice that was not made gently, and which factored the interests and concerns of everybody in the LU neighborhood, consisting of trainees, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, leaders of the Church, in addition to the Falwell household.
“To support Jerry through this period, we ask that our entire community lift him up in prayer so he might have the ability to satisfy God’s purpose for him and for Liberty University.”
Falwell has actually been a crucial ally of Trump because his 2016 governmental run when Falwell stood by Trump in the wake of the Gain access to Hollywood video, and he’s been a regular guest on conservative media protecting the president over the past three years.
Falwell has declared that Trump provided to nominate him as secretary of education soon after the election, but that he decreased. Falwell likewise repeatedly touted a role he would play as outdoors consultant to the administration on greater education policy, however that never came to fulfillment.
The viral picture this week follows a string of other controversies that have actually dogged Falwell over the past numerous years, a few of which apparently run counter to the track record that Liberty University has actually cultivated as a leading evangelical school.
POLITICO last year reported on images of Falwell checking out a Miami Beach bar with his family in July 2014. Falwell claimed that any such pictures were “photo-shopped.”
In June, Falwell excused tweeting an image of a face mask that was decorated with the racist image from Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook showing an individual in Ku Klux Klan robes and another individual in blackface. The incident drew backlash and triggered the resignation of a minimum of three African American staffers, according to The Washington Post.
Falwell has actually also been dogged over the past several years by questions about company offers by Liberty University that benefited Falwell’s pals. A legal dispute involving Falwell over an ownership stake in a hostel in Miami Beach settled last fall. And current and former Liberty University officials described a culture of fear at the university and issues about Falwell’s behavior in a 2019 POLITICO examination.
Trump’s previous individual attorney Michael Cohen in 2015 claimed that he had assisted Falwell tidy up racy “personal” pictures that must be “in between hubby and other half” however were gotten by a 3rd party.
In the past, Falwell has actually denied any unsuitable habits.