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'I must take the necessary steps to restore my reputation’: Jerry Falwell files a lawsuit against Liberty University

Falwell’s suit includes claims of defamation and breach of contract

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University’s former president and chancellor, Jerry Falwell Jr., has filed a lawsuit against his former employer.

The suit claims the university, “needlessly injured and damaged his reputation through a series of statements, published in print and spoken in large public forums and streamed online, following his forced resignation from the University,” according to a news release from his legal team.

The case, filed in Lynchburg Circuit Court, includes claims of defamation and breach of contract.

“Other than God and my family, there is nothing in the world I love more than Liberty University,” said Falwell in a statement.

Falwell also said the following in the news release:

“I am saddened that University officials, with whom I have shared so much success and enjoyed such positive relationships, jumped to conclusions about the claims made against my character, failed to properly investigate them, and then damaged my reputation following my forced resignation. While I have nothing but love and appreciation for the Liberty community, and I had hoped to avoid litigation, I must take the necessary steps to restore my reputation and hopefully help repair the damage to the Liberty University brand in the process.”

Jerry Falwell Jr. in the news release announcing his lawsuit against Liberty University

Falwell resigned from his position on Aug. 25 after 13 years following controversy regarding a posted, then-deleted vacation photo as well as news of his wife’s alleged extramarital affair.

The suit alleges that university officials accepted the false claims against Falwell without investigation to force his resignation, and then engaged in a campaign to “tarnish, minimize, and outright destroy the legacy of the Falwell family and Mr. Falwell’s reputation,” according to Falwell’s legal team.

“We attempted to meet several times with the Liberty University Board of Trustees Executive Committee but were unsuccessful in doing so. Thus, we were forced to seek remedy for Mr. Falwell’s ongoing injuries and damage to his reputation through the Court,” said Robert Raskopf of Quinn Emanuel, Falwell’s lead counsel, in a news release.

Here’s Liberty’s comment to 10 News regarding this story:

“The Board of Trustees are busy at work in session for the next two days for their Fall meetings. The University would need to read and review a lawsuit before making comment, and as of this moment we have not been served.”

Scott Lamb, Liberty University spokesman

Below is the 29-page redacted lawsuit filed Wednesday in Lynchburg Circuit Court:


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