Jerry Falwell Jr.'s bizarre news is getting worse as his sex scandal continues into its second day. Tuesday it was reported that the so-called "pool boy" who was romantically entangled with the Falwells, and was on the Liberty University payroll, was almost fired ahead of President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.
According to Politico, the Falwell's participation in the 2016 Trump campaign would bring greater scrutiny to the couple, who are perceived as advocates of family values and white Evangelical Christianity. Falwell called it a "complicated lifestyle choice."
Giancarlo Granda, who had a long-term sexual relationship with Falwell’s wife, Becki, told the site that the Falwells put up money for the youth hostel in Miami run by Granda and the Falwells' son.
"Then, at the meeting at Loews Miami Beach Hotel in May 2015, Falwell surprised Granda by offering to buy him out," the report revealed. "He also mentioned something else that caught Granda's attention: Donald Trump, he said, was planning to run for president, a somewhat surprising move that would place the New York developer among roughly a dozen people contending for the GOP nomination."
Granda thinks that the two events are connected, trying to remove evidence of Granda while the Falwells were dipping their toes in presidential politics.
“Jerry Falwell Jr. admired Trump’s strongman public persona,” said Granda in a series of phone conversations and emails. “Also, there was a noticeable personality change after Trump was elected. He was drunk on power and felt like he could get away with anything.”
He ultimately agreed to a buyout but Falwell never actually went through with it and money never exchanged hands. Falwell became close to Trump, even being offered the position of Education Secretary. It's unknown why he wasn't put in the position and Sec. Betsy DeVos was.
"It was his determination to get the money, he said, that led him to continue to seek payment from the Falwells," said the report.
“During a vacation over eight years ago, Becki and I met an ambitious young man who was working at our hotel and was saving up his money to go to school,” Falwell wrote. “We encouraged him to pursue an education and a career and we were impressed by his initiative in suggesting a local real estate opportunity. My family members eventually made an investment in a local property, included him in the deal because he could play an active role in managing it, and we had become close with him and his family."
“Shortly thereafter, Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person," said Falwell, throwing his wife under the bus. He went on to claim that the relationship was "something in which I was not involved — it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about. After I learned this, I lost 80 pounds and people who saw me regularly thought that I was physically unwell, when in reality I was just balancing how to be most supportive of Becki, who I love, while also reflecting and praying about whether there were ways I could have been more supportive of her and given her proper attention.”
Granda has disputed Falwell's characterization, saying that he would sometimes watch the couple having sex and knew of the relationship. Granda also said that he never attempted to get money out of the Falwells other than the funds from the buyout of the hostel.
“I was struggling with my mental health at the time and said some regrettable things, but I was hopeless and at times felt like the only way I could break away from their ‘hold,’ was by lashing out at them or ending my life,” Granda told Politico.
In 2014, when the two parties were involved in the lawsuit for the hostel, "Becki Falwell told Granda that Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer, was going to 'take care of those guys that are suing us,'" said Granda. People in the lawsuit had obtained compromising photos of Becki Falwell.
“Michael is well-connected in Miami. He will get this buried and will make those photos go away,” Granda relayed Becki Falwell's threat.
Cohen was then secretly taped by comedian Tom Arnold talking about the Falwell's explicit photos.
"During my work shift at the Fontainebleau Hotel in March 2012, I was chatting with some girls my age (20 at the time)," Granda recalled speaking to Politico. "Becki said, 'Those girls don’t know what they’re doing, you need someone with more experience.'"
Granda recalled Becki suggesting they go to the Falwell's hotel room.
"And then she goes, 'But one thing.' And I'm like, "Okay.' And she's like, 'My husband likes to watch.' And just then he comes out and he's wearing a Speedo," said Granda.
“He enjoyed watching us in person and also remotely through video cameras. He also listened to our phone calls,” Granda said. He wouldn't answer how much of his relationship was without Jerry Falwell participating.