Warm Southern Breeze

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Money, Sex, and Politics: Is Jerry Falwell, Jr. A Closeted Bisexual?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Editor’s Note: The point of the headline of this entry is to expose what appears to be the presence of blatant hypocrisy in Falwell, and in the greater Evangelical community, if not the practical entirety of the Christian religion, in its long-standing intolerance toward, and abhorrence of same-sex attraction, and their continual denial of civil rights, and even basic human rights to that community.

By now, you’ve probably heard of, or read about, the escapades and/or exploits – sexual, and otherwise – of Jerry Falwell, Jr., the once-and-soon-to-be former President of Liberty University, the Lynchburg, VA-based private Christian school founded by his late Baptist pastor father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr.

UPDATE: As the article was being written, Falwell had not resigned. By press time, he had.

Most recently (Monday, August 24, 2020), Reuters News posted a news report in which Jerry Falwell Jr., the President of Liberty University, whom is an attorney by education and real-estate developer by experience, was named by a Miami-based long-time sexual play friend of his, and wife Becki, in which Falwell Jr. played the cuckold role. Of course, in an official statement to the Washington Examiner, a well-known right-wing sympathetic D.C. Beltway news group, Falwell has denied all culpability, claimed he was being blackmailed and pointed the finger of sexual blame at his wife. Exclusive: Falwell says Fatal Attraction threat led to depression & STATEMENT BY JERRY FALWELL, JR.

Giancarlo Granda, who was befriended by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and wife Rebecca “Becki,” while working as a pool attendant at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a renown luxury hotel, and was later backed by them in a business venture involving an area gay youth hostel, poses for a portrait in Washington, U.S., August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Falwell’s relationship with Giancarlo Granda – the 29-year-old man claiming to have had 6 years of cuckolding sexual liaisons with Jerry and Becki Falwell – goes back several years, and Falwell claims that Granda was attempting to blackmail him.

In October 2019, the Miami Herald published an account that detailed an undisclosed financial settlement Falwell made in Federal court with Gordon Bello, a legislative aide for the Miami-Dade County Commission, and high school friend of Giancarlo Granda’s, in which it was reported that Falwell had at least a $1.8 million stake in a business and building located at 810 Alton Road in Miami Beach – oft-described in news reports as a “youth hostel,” which was described in August 2017 by POLITICO as a “South Beach flophouse,” and “cesspool of vice” – in which he had named his son Jerry Falwell III, also known as “Trey,” as manager.

Gordon Bello sued Jerry Falwell, Jr. in 2017 and claimed that Falwell had promised a stake in the South Beach property that was purchased by Alton Hostel LLC, a Falwell-created corporation formed expressly for the purpose of purchasing the property, and did so for $4.65 million. Gordon Bello claimed that his father, Jett Bello, a Miami area builder, had proposed the idea of purchasing the building to Falwell after he had been introduced to Falwell by Giancarlo Granda, who was a high school friend of Gordon’s.

The Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach, FL

It seems that in 2012, a young man named Giancarlo Granda, then aged 20, was a pool attendant at the posh Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel – well known for its acceptance of topless sunbathing and other activities which would be considered “decadent” by Liberty University standards – where he met Jerry and Becki Falwell, who in March that year were guests there.

During a 2012 visit to Liberty University, the Christian college run by Jerry Falwell Jr., center, Donald J. Trump met Giancarlo Granda (RIGHT), who had gotten to know the Falwells as a hotel pool attendant.

Thenceforth, according to Mr. Granda, the three of them cultivated a relationship in which he enjoyed flying with them on corporate jets, and in 2012 journeyed to Liberty University to meet then-GOP nominee-candidate Donald Trump.

About a year later, the Falwells gave Granda a 25% share in the Alton Hostel LLC venture, and Gordon Bello’s suit claimed that he was similarly promised a 25% stake in the venture, and sued to be compensated for the alleged agreement. However, in court, he did not produce any documentation to support his claim, and Falwell denied any such claim ever existed. The younger Bello also claimed to have formed a “personal relationship” with Becki Falwell before a 2102 meeting with Falwell Jr. in the Loews Miami Beach lobby, where the alleged business proposition/pitch occurred.

The case took an interesting, if not bizarre, turn of events, when Michael Cohen, a former-Trump lawyer/fixer claimed that he had once intervened at the request of Jerry Fallwell, Jr. in order to find compromising images of the Falwells, and had discussed the matter with actor Tom Arnold which conversation he had secretly recorded.

The senior and junior Bello were previously legally named Jesus Fernandez Sr., and Jesus Fernandez Jr., and had legally changed their names to Jett Bello and Gordon Bello, respectively – Bello was Jesus Sr.’s (Jett’s) mother’s maiden name – after they said they had experienced unspecified pressure following Michael Cohen’s mention of their names in the matter.

Granda’s relationship with the Falwells also included sexual liaisons in which Jerry Jr. would watch while Giancarlo had sex with Becki – a twist on the “friends with benefits” theme known as “cuckolding,” in which the regular, often-married male partner of a female observes, and may masturbate during the interlude. Such a desire itself may often be a sign of latent homosexual desires, and Granda had said that the liaisons involved Falwell, Jr., suggesting a more than observational, non-participatory level. The relationship lasted 6 years, into 2018, and was well-documented by email exchanges, text messages, and other forms of electronic communication between the couple and young Giancarlo.

Giancarlo Granda (LEFT) and Jerry Falwell Jr. in an undated photo at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada. Granda met Falwell while working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, and became a partner in a South Beach hostel a Falwell family LLC purchased in 2013.

Reuters news service, which broke the story, has validated, authenticated, and verified the materials which Mr. Granda, now aged 29, provided to the agency which support his claims.

Regarding the business and monetary aspects of their relationship, in August 2017, POLITICO writer, and Liberty University graduate Brandon Ambrosino found that “Documents with the Miami-Dade County Recorder show that on February 21, 2013, that parcel was purchased by Alton Hostel LLC for $4.65 million cash. At the time, the LLC—which had formed just two weeks earlier, on February 7, 2013—listed Trey Falwell, then 23, as the sole manager of the company.” He also found that “For two years, the Falwell-controlled LLC that owned the hostel (as well as the land containing the liquor store and neighboring Italian restaurant) was based on property in Virginia owned by Liberty University.” That is concerning not merely for the hypocrisy, but for the possible violation of tax law under the auspices of section 501(c)(3) by which it operates, and the significant religious Federal tax exclusions which it enjoys.

It was only days earlier from this report that the junior Falwell first came under fire after he posted images of himself on social media depicting his pants unfastened and partially unzipped, revealing his striped underwear, as he stood alongside, with his right arm around a woman whom he later identified as his wife’s pregnant secretary, who was wearing denim cut-off short-shorts, also similarly unfastened.

Robert Downwen, Religion News writer for the Houston Chronicle, posted a screenshot of Falwell’s August 2 post and wrote “wut is happening.”

From there, outcry was widespread, and action was swift, with Liberty University’s Board of Trustees asking him to step down from his university positions “effective immediately,” which he did.

In an interview with Lynchburg, VA news/talk radio station WLNI 105.9-FM about the matter shortly after it occurred, Falwell Jr. said in part, “Yeah, it was weird. She’s pregnant. She couldn’t get her pants zipped and I was like trying to like… I had on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a long time and couldn’t get zipped either. So, I just put my belly out like hers. She’s my wife’s assistant she’s a sweetheart. I should have never put it up and embarrassed her. I’ve apologized to everybody. I promised my kids I will try to be a good boy from here on out.”

Jerry Falwell Jr.’s father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr., was the virulent arch-social critic and founder of the religious ultra right-wing political influence group Moral Majority, which parlayed hard-line Evangelical Christian religious doctrine and affiliation into Republican political power and laws in Washington, D.C., who also wrote in 1999 that Tinky Winky, the fictitious purple Teletubby character from the Public Television children’s show, was a “gay role model.”

Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubby

In an article entitled “Parents Alert: Tinky Winky Comes Out of the Closet” in the February 1999 issue of his magazine National Liberty Journal, Falwell, Sr. wrote in part that, “The character, whose voice is obviously that of a boy, has been found carrying a red purse, and has become a favorite character among gay groups worldwide. Further evidence that the creators of the series intend Tinky Winky to be a gay role model has surfaced. He is purple – the gay-pride color – and his antenna is shaped like a triangle – the gay-pride symbol.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr., aged 58, is widely reported to be anticipating a nearly $10.5 million “golden parachute” following his sudden resignation as President of Liberty University this past Monday. The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted on Tuesday to accept his resignation.

In an interview with the Washington Post, he reportedly stated that “The board was gracious not to challenge that,” referring to the 20-page employment contract with the university which contained a 2-year non-competition clause, in addition to severance. He said that, “There wasn’t any cause,” adding that, “I haven’t done anything,” denoting that he departed as the university’s president in good standing.

Doubtless, there will be challenges to his generous “parting gift” in light of a morality clause in the contract (which also doubtlessly exists), and he could be investigated by forensic accountants, which may also include examinations by the Internal Revenue Service of Liberty University during his tenure there.

Stay tuned.

This matter is not as much concerning about his sexual peccadilloes, as it is the underlying matter of – no, not hypocrisy – but the MONEY.

Liberty University is only 2nd to the for-profit Phoenix University in the number of online-only classes they have, which outnumbers the traditional on-campus classes by nearly 10:1. THAT is the money machine for Liberty University.

Of course, this matter does make for good reading – don’t we all enjoy a bit of journalistic voyeurism which tells a dirty story? – but again, the intrigue is in how the money gets mixed up in the façade of religious pretext, otherwise known as “hypocrisy.”

I’m of the opinion that there’s much more to this story than the mere appearance of a years-long cuckolding sexual liaison. MUCH MORE. And money underlies it all.

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