A business associate of Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki Tilley has alleged that he had an affair with Becki over the course of several years. Reuters reports that Giancarlo Granda says he entered into a sexual relationship with her when he was 20, and Falwell watched them engage in sexual acts.
"Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room," Granda, who is now 29, said. He said that the relationship resulted in liasions "multiple times per year," mostly taking place at hotels in Miami and New York as well as the Falwells' Virginia home. Eventually the relationship soured, but Granda provided screenshots of text messages that seemingly confirm the existence of their affair.
"Right now I am just missing you like crazy .... Have you had this effect on all of your lady friends?" one of Tilley's texts to Granda in 2012 reads. Another audio recording from 2018 reportedly has Tilley complain that Granda revealed his relationships with other people. "He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something," she can be heard saying, only for Falwell to add, "You're going to make her jealous."
Granda explained that he consented to the relationship at hand at the time, but looking back he holds more complicated feelings. "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," he said.
Falwell has denied the allegations, and preemptively released a statement to Washington Examiner before the Reuters article was published. As he explained it, Becki Tilley had an affair with Granda, but when a business venture between them fell apart he threatened to go public with it. "Any allegation of extortion is falsely, defamatory, and belied by clear documentary evidence," Granda replied to Falwell's allegations of extortion.
"Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better too," Falwell said in his statement. Prior to August, Falwell was the head of the conservative evangelical Libery University. He was indefinitely suspended after a photo of himself with his pants unzipped was shared online.