Jerry Falwell, Jr. is asking a court to dismiss a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against him by his former employer, Liberty University, the Christian conservative evangelical college founded by his father.
The suit, worth more than $40 million, is merely a tool to embarrass and publicly shame him, Falwell says. He claims university officials are using it as a vehicle to keep his affairs in the public eye.
The lawsuit, Falwell claims, according to the Lynchburg News & Advance, focuses “in large part on an affair between Falwell’s wife, Becki, and a young man named Giancarlo Granda that Jerry Falwell Jr. has made public statements about.”
Granda has repeatedly claimed that not only did Falwell know about his wife’s affair with Granda, often described in the media as their “pool boy,” Falwell Jr. participated in some of the liaisons, as a voyeur.
Falwell Jr. “has claimed Granda — once a pool boy, business partner and friend to the family — had extorted the couple, which Granda has denied.”
Liberty University “honed in on those claims in its lawsuit, stating Falwell breached his fiduciary duty to the school by not disclosing ‘Granda’s extortive threats’ while negotiating a 2019 employment agreement that included a $1.5 million raise and a $2.5 million severance package. Beyond that, it alleges Falwell damaged the school’s reputation and donor base through a series of ‘indiscretions’ in recent years, along with his ‘personal impairment by alcohol.'”
Falwell in his court filing says the “rehashing of these events and protected defamation of Falwell through litigation serves one mission — ruining Falwell’s reputation through mischaracterization of events and public shaming through out-of-context pictures filed in a public complaint.”
His “response to the lawsuit states he had no duty to tell the university about private matters and the university failed to prove legal elements of the business conspiracy it alleged against him.”
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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the QAnon Republican lawmaker and gun rights activist who owns a bar named Shooters in Rifle, Colorado, is being criticized after posting a tweet mocking and attacking Alec Baldwin. The well-known actor who spent several years playing Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” shot and killed award-winning cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, apparently by accident, with a prop gun on set less than 24 hours ago.
Boebert dug up a seven-year old tweet Baldwin had sent in support of Michael Brown, the 18-year old Black man fatally shot by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.
She then added a snide and ugly remark and posted it to Twitter, only too happy to use the pain of Hutchins’ grieving family, friends, and industry as a tool to attack Baldwin:
The outrage was palpable, even from a few on the right, like former Trump White House Director of Strategic Communications:
If you’re going to tout your Christian faith, how about trying to have some empathy and grace over a tragedy? Don’t remember the part of the gospel that says “anything for RTs” https://t.co/uPT3djTpT7
A member of Congress is using her taxpayer-funded salary to dig up seven year old tweets to troll a man she’s never met in what’s probably the worst moment of his life. “Shame” doesn’t even begin to describe this. https://t.co/BKtSWsADqc
You really have to be the most ghoulish, heartless, shittiest excuse for a human being to use a tragic accident that cost a young woman her life, to attempt to crack a joke at @AlecBaldwin’s expense. https://t.co/ZddmfIS0XB
The “party of family values” ladies and gentlemen. This vile creature is reveling in a tragic death. She’s using that horrible accident as a weapon in order to attack someone who is undoubtedly suffering. This is who she is. She is grotesque. She’s an embarrassment to Congress.
During a December 5 rally in Georgia last year Donald Trump turned his focus to a local official, showing supporters a video of Richard Barron, the Fulton County elections director.
“So, if you just take the crime of what those Democratic workers were doing,” Trump told attendees, “that’s ten times more than I need to win the state.”
VICE reports it was then that Barron started getting attacked in a deluge of voicemails, many of which “were graphic and specifically called for his death.”
“Hey, Rick,” one racist and homophobic voicemail said. “Two hundred and thirty four years ago, the founding caucasian fathers of America gave us the Second Amendment. Time’s running out, Richard. We’re coming after you and every motherfucker that stole this election with our Second Amendment, subpoenas be damned, you’re going to be served lead, you fucking enemy enemy communist cocksucker. You will be served lead.”
“Hey, Rick,” another said. “Watching this video of you on YouTube. I can’t believe you can’t count votes in Fulton County. It’s absolutely incredible. How deceivious? How deceitful you are? You need to get your act together or people like me really may go after people like you.”
“If you have a hand in this,” another caller said, “you deserve to go to prison, you actually deserve to hang by your goddamn skinny-ass soyboy neck.”
The threats weren’t just shielded behind anonymous voicemails.
“We also began to see people just across the street from the warehouse where we are now,” Barron told VICE. “They started to do surveillance on my staff, taking pictures of all of the individuals that would come in and go in and out of the warehouse, they would take pictures of their license plates.”
Reporting on what it says is a “mass exodus” of elections officials – some, like Barron who have decades of irreplaceable experience and expertise – VICE says it spoke with over a dozen who were the targets of death threats and other attacks.
“Officials across the United States experienced physical stalking, explicitly violent phone calls, racial slurs, home surveillance, bomb scares, and threats of mass shootings. For some officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, the threats have continued for nearly a year. And now, many of these officials want to quit,” VICE adds.
One local Pennsylvania city commissioner, Al Schmidt, who had been targeted by named by Trump had to leave home and live under police protection after the death threats – sent to him and his wife – started.
“The first email that my wife received with the subject line, ‘Albert RINO Schmidt, committed treason,’ Schmidt said. It continued: “‘Your husband should tell the truth, or your three kids … will be fatally shot.” The email went on to mention their children’s ages and their address, and said that the cops couldn’t help them. The email was also signed “Q,” in likely reference to QAnon. Then, the email included a link to a picture of their home.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.
Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.
“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.
“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”