Report: Ex-university president Jerry Falwell Jr. found bleeding, drunk

FILE - Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., pauses during an interview in his office at the school in Lynchburg, Va. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, Falwell said that he has submitted his resignation as head of evangelical Liberty University. Steve Helber, File/AP Photo

Credit: Steve Helber

Credit: Steve Helber

The former conservative college president’s wife allegedly called 911 about her husband on Aug. 31

Days after Jerry Falwell Jr. resigned as president of Liberty University, his wife reportedly called 911 to their home, stating that Falwell was drunk and bleeding.

The Huffington Post has obtained the audio recording of a 911 call from Becki Falwell, who had been seeking help for her husband who was intoxicated and described him as losing “a lot of blood right now.” She made the call about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 31, after a few hours earlier contacting her church and informing officials that her husband had fallen down the stairs Aug. 30. She told officials she had to break through a back door with a chair when she arrived at their house in Bedford County, Virginia, because all the doors were locked.

“The more I tell you the name, the more you’re going to understand why we’re not talking to you right now,” Becki Falwell said. Dispatch logs, obtained by the publication via a public records request, state that “He won’t let her take him to the hospital as he is stubborn. Caller was not forthcoming.”

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When medics and emergency responders arrived at the residence, they observed lacerations on Jerry’s face, including under his left eye, across the bridge of his nose, and above both his right and left eyes. The responder also recorded in a report that Jerry Falwell Jr. said he hit his head on a trash can, and that there was “blood in the area he indicated” as well as “empty alcohol containers.”

The couple had been embroiled in a sex-and-alcohol scandal for weeks by the time the 911 call was made, with reports of the former Liberty University president drinking alcohol despite the school’s ethics code forbidding such behavior. Becki Falwell had also been under scrutiny due to her alleged affairs. Reuters recently published an explosive report on an alleged sexual-and-financial relationship between her, Jerry Falwell Jr., and a Miami man named Giancarlo Granda.

The couple’s sex scandal only added to the mounting unsavory reports about Falwell. Questions about his alcohol use were met with dispute, and Falwell claimed some photos were likely altered that showed him drinking. In light of the rumors, he initially announced a leave of absence from Liberty, a private evangelical university founded by his father, Jerry Falwell Sr., on Aug. 7 after he posted a racy photo on Instagram with his pants unzipped, and his arm around a woman and a dark drink in hand. When asked, he said the beverage was “black water.”

By Aug. 25, the university reported Falwell’s resignation, but he disputed the initial reports before confirming that he had in fact stepped down. On the same day of the reported 911 call, Liberty’s board of trustees announced a comprehensive investigation by an outside firm of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s tenure as president.

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Falwell served as president of the university in Lynchburg, Virginia, for 13 years. He grew the modest evangelical Christian college into a formidable institution with an endowment of more than $1.7 billion, more than 15,000 on-campus and more than 94,000 virtual students and a Division I athletics program.

Falwell’s tenure at Liberty eventually became increasingly controversial. Scandals regarding his social media activity, like posting the picture of a mask bearing a racist photo and calling Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam “Governor Blackface,” and his politics brought negative attention to the Christian leader.

He has not publicly commented on the 911 call, but last month he said he was seeking mental health counseling amid the “trauma” of the situation and that he remains “fully devoted” to his wife.

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