Giancarlo Granda claimed his "intimate relationship" with Becki Falwell went on for six years, while Jerry Falwell Jr. watched from the corner of the room

By Joelle Goldstein
August 25, 2020 03:56 PM
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Giancarlo Granda, a onetime Miami pool attendant, was thrust into the spotlight this week when he claimed to have been sexually involved with prominent evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki Falwell for years — something the newly resigned Liberty University leader has disputed.

In an explosive report with Reuters on Monday, Granda, 29, said he "developed an intimate relationship" with Becki, 53, after meeting at a Miami Beach hotel in March 2012.

Over the next six years, Granda claimed he joined the Falwells "multiple times per year" at hotels in Miami and New York as well as their home in Virginia, and would have sex with Becki while "Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room."

Eventually, things between Granda and the couple ended, "in part because he wanted to dissolve his ties with the couple and fell into a business dispute with them," Reuters reported.

Giancarlo Granda
Facebook

Jerry, however, denied this account and claimed in his own statement to The Washington Examiner on Sunday — just one day before Granda's story was published — that he had no part in the sexual relationship.

Jerry, 58, did not name Granda but he referred to a hotel employee exactly like him and described the claim as an extortion plot.

The allegations, combined with an Instagram photo scandal that put Jerry on an "indefinite leave of absence" in early August from his roles as president and chancellor of Liberty University, have since resulted in his official resignation.

The since-deleted Instagram photo that led to Falwell Jr.'s initial leave of absence from Liberty University in August.
Jerry Falwell Jr./Instagram

“The Liberty University Board of Trustees acted today to accept the resignation of Jerry Falwell, Jr. as its president and chancellor and also accepted his resignation from its Board of Directors," a spokesperson for Liberty University said in a statement on Tuesday. "All were effective immediately . . . Falwell, through an attorney, sent the resignation letter late last night to members of the Board’s Executive Committee pursuant to the terms of his contract of employment.”

So who is the man entangled in the alleged drama with Falwells? Here's everything to know about Granda.

Jerry Falwell Jr. and Becki Falwell
Shannon Finney/Getty

He met the Falwells while working as a pool boy

Granda said he was a 20-year-old pool attendant when he met the Falwells at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.

In Jerry's statement to the Examiner, he noted that he and his wife were impressed with Granda's work ethic.

"During a vacation over eight years ago, Becki and I met an ambitious young man who was working at our hotel and was saving up his money to go to school," Jerry said. "We encouraged him to pursue an education and a career and we were impressed by his initiative in suggesting a local real estate opportunity."

According to Granda's Facebook, he has since earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Florida International University and his Master's in Real Estate Finance and Development from Georgetown University.

He was a business partner with the Falwells

Falwell said he and his family became close with Granda and "eventually made an investment in a local property," in which they "included him in the deal because [Granda] could play an active role in managing it."

That property ultimately turned out to be a Miami Beach youth hostel, which the Falwells purchased in 2013 and offered Granda a share in, Buzzfeed News reported.

Both Granda and Becki Falwell were listed as partners along with Jerry and Becki's son Jerry "Trey" Falwell III, BuzzFeed reported. Jerry Jr. had provided the money for the down payment on the loan.

In his interview Monday, Granda claimed that the falling out between him and the Falwells was due in part to his desire to end things with them. Rather than seeking payment for his silence, Granda wanted to "negotiate a buyout from a business arrangement he says he had with the couple," but it ultimately resulted in "a business dispute," Reuters wrote.

He once considered himself "best friends" with Becki

Granda defended his affair claims by providing Reuters with screenshots from a FaceTime conversation with Becki and text messages where she allegedly said, "Right now I am just missing you like crazy... Have you had this effect on all of your lady friends?"

Audio from 2018 that seems to capture the Falwells speaking with Granda was also obtained by the outlet. In a clip from a call published by Reuters, Becki is apparently heard talking about how she had "feelings" for Granda and complained that he had relationships with other people, while Jerry said to Granda, "You’re going to make her jealous."

The audio captures Granda saying on that call, "You don't care about me anymore." But then he is heard calling Becki his "best friend."

This summer, however, his tone was much sharper, writing in a text to Jerry in June: "Since you’re okay with ruining my life, I am going to take the kamikaze route. It really is a shame because I wanted to reach a peaceful resolution and just move on with our lives but if conflict is what you want, then so be it."

He denies extorting money from the Falwells

According to Jerry's statement, Granda eventually "became increasingly angry and aggressive" and "began threatening to publicly reveal this secret relationship with Becki ... unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies."

"It was like living on a roller coaster," Jerry told the Examiner.

Reached for comment by the paper, Granda denied the allegation of blackmail and said "the WHOLE truth will come out."

"The Falwells' attempt to sandbag me, and the Examiner, with a last-minute story without providing the Examiner clear evidence that this was not simply an ‘affair’ with concocted allegations of extortion reeks [of] desperation," Granda said.

Reflecting on his alleged relationship with the Falwells, Granda told Reuters, "Whether it was immaturity, naïveté, instability or a combination thereof, it was this ‘mindset’ that the Falwells likely detected in deciding that I was the ideal target for their sexual escapades."