About 200 students had gathered outside for a humorous evening on Thursday, and Falwell was not to make an appearance, according to a student in attendance.
But Falwell showed up halfway through the event with Becki by his side, the student said. He quickly took the stage, lamenting that his student daughter – who he said was in the audience – had told him, “Please don’t come.”
“You are still my president!” a student screamed when Falwell took the stage, according to a video reviewed by POLITICO. Others laughed and applauded Falwell’s name. Then Falwell invited the students to a party at his farm, a multi-building property near Liberty.
“We would love to have you there. Becki says there’s no way to plan it this fast, but we can and we will, ”Falwell said, encouraging students to spread the word on social media.
Before taking off, Falwell added a self-deprecating note, telling the audience, “I’m a little bigger than before anyway.” He and his wife left shortly after.
Just two weeks ago, Liberty sued Falwell, alleging he withheld damaging information from the university about an alleged extortion attempt from former pool attendant Giancarlo Granda, who claims his affair with Becki, whom Jerry sometimes watched, had started at the age of 20. He also banned professors and staff from contacting Falwell, saying his presence at Liberty could interfere with an ongoing investigation into his tenure as president.
Falwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Critics of Falwell called Falwell’s appearance at the student event inappropriate and cited the affair with Granda and the allegations of a former Liberty student who says Becki Falwell surprised him by performing a sex act on her. oral at the Falwell farm a group with the Falwell’s son Trey.
This alleged meeting “took place in the same house where they invite the students to a graduation party,” said Calum Best, a Liberty alumnus and co-founder of pro-Liberty reform group Save71. “No one in administration has the courage to stand up and say it’s wrong, so Falwell still does crazy stunts like this.”
Liberty University is investigating Falwell’s presidency, but the investigation appears to focus only on possible financial mismanagement at the university, not personal conduct.
And Falwell, who has spent much of his career at the university founded by his father, the Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr., has resisted any attempt by Liberty to take the university away from him. After being pressured to step down as president, he has repeatedly posted photos of himself on social media around campus. And in an interview earlier this spring, Falwell said Liberty’s staff and board of directors had been “nothing but supportive” following his departure.
“The students all want their photos with me. They thank me, ”Falwell said.