A few more of the dots connected on the Jerry Falwell Jr. story

A few more of the dots connected on the Jerry Falwell Jr. story August 24, 2020

After reading Aram Roston’s 2018 report on Jerry Falwell Jr. and the strange tale of the “pool boy” — “Jerry Falwell Jr. and a Young Pool Attendant Launched a Business That Sparked a Bitter Dispute” — I wrote here about the hazy outlines of the larger story that Roston seemed to be chasing:

The whole report reads like notebook fragments from some larger story that Roston was pursuing. That later, larger story would clarify and explain the connections that this initial report only vaguely sketches out.

Well, today Roston was able to confirm and publish some of those connections, “Business partner of Falwells says affair with evangelical power couple spanned seven years“:

Giancarlo Granda says he was 20 when he met Jerry and Becki Falwell while working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in March 2012. Starting that month and continuing into 2018, Granda told Reuters that the relationship involved him having sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell looked on.

Granda showed Reuters emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987. “Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in an interview. Now 29, he described the liaisons as frequent – “multiple times per year” – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells’ home in Virginia.

It goes on. There are more details. There are details that you will not be able to un-read — details that recall the similar squirm-inducing details of stories about Paul Manafort and Roger Stone and other Trump-orbit politicos who share Jerry Jr’s enthusiasm for watching their spouses with other men.

But while this is, in part, a sex story, and while it’s making a big splash partly because the salacious details of this sex story are, well, salacious, it is not only a sex story. And I don’t think it’s even primarily a sex story. The kinky details are just the sideshow. The more important story is about duplicity, hypocrisy, the pseudo-religion of the right-wing culture wars.

And I suspect, once more of the dots get connected, it will prove to be a story about that fuzzy, fuzzy line between fixers and blackmailers.

In any case, it now seems very unlikely that Jerry Falwell Jr. will be returning to Liberty University in any official capacity. The school has already replaced him with an interim president who’s also a Trump-lover with a long history of racism, vicious homophobia, and political dirty tricks. So business-as-usual continues there.


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