Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. took testosterone supplements in bid to win wife back from pool boy: report
Former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. began taking testosterone supplements in an effort to win back his wife from the Miami pool boy with whom she had been having an affair, according to a new report.
That was one of the many revelations after the Falwells sat down with Gabriel Sherman for a Vanity Fair interview at their 500-acre Lynchburg farm.
"A former Miami pool boy named Giancarlo Granda claimed he had a nearly seven-year affair with Falwell’s wife, Becki—and that Falwell often liked to watch them have sex. Granda went on a national media tour—he gave interviews to ABC News, CNN, Reuters, Politico, and The Washington Post—and said the Falwells began 'grooming' him when he was 20 and bought his silence with luxury vacations, rides on Liberty’s private jet, and an ownership stake managing a Miami Beach hostel. To bolster his claims, Granda released screenshots of Facetime calls and text conversations with Becki ('I’m not wearing any panties,' she allegedly wrote Granda in one message). Falwell released a statement that acknowledged Becki and Granda’s relationship, but he vehemently denied watching the trysts. Instead, Falwell said he was the real victim of a 'Fatal Attraction–type' extortion plot after Granda demanded $2 million to keep the affair secret," Sherman recounted.
The Falwells recounted how Becki Falwell and Granda grew closer in 2012.
"They swapped love songs over text (Becki said Granda sent her 'Little Things' by One Direction and 'Sideways' by Citizen Cope)," Sherman reported. "Around this time she started signing her texts to Granda 'I love you.' When Granda called, Becki snuck off to talk. Her unexplained absences became a running joke in the Falwell family. Her kids printed T-shirts that read 'Where’s Becki?'"
The couple went into business with Granda after Becki says she informed her husband of the affair.
“The only way I could do it was to detach. I let it go on. I’m partly to blame," Falwell said. "I was thinking maybe I was the reason she was lonely because I wasn’t taking care of myself."
Gabriel described how Falwell sought to win her back, saying he, "hired a trainer. He lifted weights and took testosterone supplements. Jerry attributed a lot of the incendiary things he later did to side effects of the hormones."
Granda says he has a forthcoming book and Hulu documentary.
Read the full report.
According to Washington Post political analyst Philip Bump, a video clip of Donald Trump's "please clap" moment that was filmed at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend is indicative that the public is rapidly losing interest in the former president as fellow Republicans adopt his rhetoric but do it without the actual baggage of being the twice-impeached president who lost re-election.
Describing the video moment by recalling a similar humiliating clip of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) in 2016 just before his campaign to be the GOP presidential nominee died a quiet death, Bump wrote that Trump seems to be suffering the same fate, while also noting polls seem to bear that out.
"Until now. Before January 2021, Trump was consistently identified as the target of more support among Republicans than was the GOP. A year ago, after Trump lost his reelection bid, the two pulled even. And since then, the GOP has built a widening lead," Bump wrote. "Seven years after Trump first emerged as a significant political force, and with him now in semi-retirement post-2020, the party seems finally to have figured out how to use to its own advantage what made him appealing. Trumpism, if you will, has been licensed out like so many Trump products before."
Using the election of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) as an example of someone who got Trump's endorsement while keeping him at arm's length, the analysts said that lesson has not been lost by other GOP candidates who want Trump's fans -- but not him.
Bump also noted Trump's attempts to make the case that he is still important with his curious decision to endorse two GOP candidates running for the same seat so he can take credit for their win.
"It’s an unintentionally revealing consideration, one that would make explicit that Trump’s concern is not values but the demonstration of success. This isn’t really a secret, but Trump’s generic-to-the-point-of-parody endorsements were in the past at least theoretically predicated on issues," he wrote. "This is the “please clap” of endorsement strategies, an effort to simply gin up the appearance of importance where it otherwise wouldn’t exist. It would demonstrate not Trump’s exaggerated power but, instead, emphasize his weakness."
"It’s also a sign that the party is moving on. Lots of candidates — most candidates! — running for Republican nominations are echoing Trump’s rhetoric and priorities, and nearly all would rather have his endorsement than not. But it’s not hard to imagine that Trump’s endorsement would simply become another factor in the mix as candidates scramble to appeal to the Republican base, " he added before suggesting, "But, out of office and trying to find his footing, there is a lot of evidence that Trump’s position itself has softened, that the GOP has figured out ways to make his priorities and energies work to their advantage — just as he, in 2016, figured out how to make the GOP work to his."
"Trumpism isn’t going anywhere, clearly," he predicted. "The question now is the extent to which Trump himself will still get to benefit from it."
You can read the whole piece here.
The U.S. Capitol police have started scrutinizing the backgrounds of individuals who meet with lawmakers.
After the Jan. 6 insurrection, the police department's intelligence unit began examining people and their social media feeds who meet with lawmakers, who hadn't been aware of the practice, and even some of the intelligence analysts have raised concerns with the department's inspector general, reported Politico.
“Whatever they think that sounds like for security, it sounds dangerously close — if not already over the line — to spying on members of Congress, their staff, their constituents and their supporters,” said Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), a former criminal defense attorney. “Anybody involved with implementing this without making it known to the actual members of Congress should resign or be fired immediately, and I’m not big on calling for resignations.”
Three sources told Politico that congressional staffers are also subject to the new scrutiny, which was implemented by former Department of Homeland Security official Julie Farnam as part of a series of changes implemented in the intelligence unit starting in fall 2020.
“These reports are incredibly disturbing,” said McKinley Lewis, a spokesperson for Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). “It is unthinkable that any government entity would conduct secret investigations to build political dossiers on private Americans. The American people deserve to know what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi knew and directed, and when. Senator Scott believes the Senate Rules Committee should immediately investigate.”
A spokesperson for House Administration Committee, which oversees chamber security matters, declined to comment, but Capitol police defended the practice of seeking public information about donors, staffers and other associates who meet with lawmakers.
“It is our duty to protect Members of Congress wherever they are,” police said in a statement. “Just like journalists, we do research with public information.”
Patrick Toomey, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said the practice raises civil rights concerns.
“When police set out to monitor people’s social media activity without any reason to believe they have engaged in criminal activity, it raises First Amendment concerns,” Toomey said. “Those concerns are especially strong here, where individuals are coming under scrutiny simply because they are exercising their right to petition members of Congress.”