Becki Falwell broke her silence Tuesday on allegations of an extramarital affair with a Miami pool attendant while denying claims that her husband, Jerry Falwell Jr., liked “to watch.”
Her comments come amid her husband’s resignation as the head of Liberty University after a provocative photo and revelations of his wife's affair roiled the evangelical school.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Becki admitted that she did have an affair, calling it embarrassing and humbling.
“I wish Christians and people would be as forgiving as Christ was,” she said.
Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr., right, and his wife, Becki during after a town hall at a convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. (AP/File)
The latest controversy unfolded late Sunday, when The Washington Examiner published a statement from Falwell disclosing his wife’s extramarital affair. The statement said the man involved had been threatening to reveal the relationship "to deliberately embarrass my wife, family, and Liberty University unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies."
In an interview with Reuters, Giancarlo Granda, now 29, gave his account of the story. He said he had a yearslong affair with Becki Falwell that began in March 2012 when he was working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel.
Granda told Politico that Becki targeted him after she supposedly saw him chatting with girls his own age, allegedly telling him: “Those girls don’t know what they’re doing, you need someone with more experience.”
At the time, Granda was 20. Becki was 44.
He claimed they had sex several times a year through 2018 and that, bizarrely, Jerry liked to watch.
“He enjoyed watching us in person and also remotely through video cameras. He also listened to our phone calls,” Granda claimed.
Both Becki Falwell and her husband have denied Granda’s claim.
Jerry Falwell Jr., who declined comment on whether he anticipates pursuing legal action against Granda, began his leave Aug. 7 amid intense criticism of a vacation photo that showed him with his pants unzipped, stomach exposed, and arm high around the waist of his wife’s pregnant assistant.
He also held a glass of dark liquid that he described in a caption as “black water.” Falwell has said the photo was taken at a costume party during a family vacation.
Critics of the image said it was evidence of hypocritical behavior from the leader of a university where students must follow a strict code of conduct.
The photo prompted new pushback against Falwell from school alumni and supporters that intensified after the reports about Granda.
Falwell said Sunday that he had known of his wife’s affair but was devastated after learning about it. He also alleged that Granda had been extorting them for years over his stake in a youth hostel in Miami.
Granda said Tuesday he merely wanted a buyout from the couple and was not seeking profit by publicly disclosing his side of the story.
“In his effort to lie and discredit me, the Falwells are exposing to the world why I felt it was important to step-forward and tell the truth about them," Granda said in a statement obtained by Fox News. "The fiction they are peddling in an effort to save themselves is on par with the kind of victim-shaming tactics we’ve come to expect from people who have abused their positions of power and authority.”
Liberty University said on Tuesday it has accepted Falwell's resignation, writing in a statement that the "university's heartfelt prayers are with him and his family as he steps away from his life's work."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.