Jerry Falwell Jr, the homophobic president of America’s best-known evangelical college, Liberty University, accused a Miami Beach-based photography company of doctoring photos of him at a nightclub in 2014, but the company fired back on Tuesday by releasing a trove of new pictures showing the evangelical leader partying the night away inside the Miami club.
Politico on Tuesday morning published an exposé that included photos taken by World Red Eye showing Falwell partying at Wall Lounge, the nightclub inside the W South Beach, with his son and daughter-in-law.
But when Politico reporter Brandon Ambrosino, an alumnus of Liberty University, asked Falwell about the embarrassing pictures, he offered a staunch denial and suggested the images were Photoshopped:
In a statement on August 21, Jerry Falwell denied the existence of any photo of him at the club. “There was no picture snapped of me at WALL nightclub or any other nightclub,” Falwell wrote. “I’m sure you already knew that though.”
When told that I had obtained a photo of him for this article, Falwell said I was “terribly mistaken.” “If you show me the picture, I can probably help you out,” he wrote. “I think you are making some incorrect assumptions, or have been told false things or are seeing something that was photo-shopped.”
The news outlet said that, according to unnamed sources at the school, his reaction was to get an “IT guy” to lower the image’s ranking in Google search results.
As noted by Politico, Liberty University has a strict policy against the same type of “improper social behavior” captured by World Red Eye photographers. The college prohibits alcohol consumption for all students, even those who are over the age of 21, living on or off-campus.
The official school policy states:
Liberty University prohibits the possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, nicotine, illegal drugs, and non-prescribed controlled substances by its students, whether this occurs on or off campus. … Violations of this prohibition may result in disciplinary action, including a sanction of non-return or administrative withdrawal.
The college also discourages co-ed mingling, according to their official policy:
All students are asked to display mature Christian behavior in social interaction. Proper respect must be shown to all individuals at all times. Harassment of any type will not be tolerated. Handholding is the only appropriate form of personal contact. Improper personal contact or other forms of public display are considered in poor taste. After dusk, students should not be alone with an individual of the opposite sex in any unlighted area such as the ball fields, parking lots, parked cars, ravine or other wooded areas, etc. This is considered improper social behavior.
In response to Falwell’s allegations of photographic manipulation, World Red Eye founder Seth Browarnik posted a statement to Twitter in response to Politico’s story.