Insiders revealed their discomfort with Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. discussing his sex life in graphic detail, and their suspicions about a sweetheart real estate deal struck with a personal trainer.
Falwell is “very, very vocal” about his sex life, according to multiple current and former university employees and officials,reported Brandon Ambrosino for Politico.
One senior university official, who has since left Liberty, told Ambrosino about a car ride he took with Falwell about a decade ago.
“All he wanted to talk about was how he would nail his wife, how she couldn’t handle [his penis size], and stuff of that sort,” this former official said.
Longtime Liberty officials also said that Falwell has shown or texted male confidants, including at least one employee, photos of his wife Becki in provocative or sexual poses.
On at least one occasion, Falwell shared a photo of his wife wearing what appeared to be a French maid costume, according to a longtime university employee with knowledge of the situation.
Falwell intended to send the photo to Becki's personal trainer, Ben Crosswhite, as thanks for helping her reach her fitness goals, the employee said.
However, he accidentally sent the image to several other people -- which Falwell later denied.
“I never had any picture of Becki Falwell dressed in a French maid uniform," he told Ambrosino, "and never sent such a non-existent photo to Ben Crosswhite.”
Insiders also expressed discomfort with the couple's relationship to Crosswhite, who was offered a sweetheart deal to buy fitness space from the university.
The evangelical university carved out space six years ago in the old Racket Club to rent to Crosswhite to privately train the Falwells, and Liberty then began paying for expensive upgrades to the facility.
Falwell pushed for Liberty to sell the space to Crosswhite in 2015, and the university's vice president and chief operating officer Randy Smith proposed terms that would sell the club to Crosswhite for $1.2 million.
Liberty employees would still be allowed to use the club, and the school paid in advance for seven years of use, at $82,000 per year.
That allowed Crosswhite to buy the club for about $640,000, which Liberty sources found to be highly favorable to the couple's trainer.
“Hell of a deal,” a former high-ranking Liberty official said. “We gave Ben everything he asked for.”
Falwell insisted the athletic facility had been a drain on Liberty resources since it had been donated, and he said the sale to Crosswhite cut those costs while still providing access by the university.
Smith, the chief operating officer, also agreed the arrangement was a "win-win situation" for both Crosswhite and Liberty, but legal experts said the deal -- like others probed in the Politico report -- suggests ethical issues at Liberty.
“When I hear the laundry list of interested transactions and the questionable use of Liberty University’s assets," said Philip Hackney, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School who specializes in taxation and nonprofit management, "I hear a nonprofit that is not well-governed in a sense that I would hope and expect from a sizable nonprofit. It has the sense of being managed for a charismatic leader and his family and friends rather than for the mission of Liberty.”