Giancarlo Granda, the Miami pool boy turned business partner of evangelical leaders Jerry and Becki Falwell, told Politico on Tuesday that Becki propositioned him during their first meeting poolside at Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel in 2012.
In a statement on Sunday, Falwell said that his wife “Becki had an inappropriate personal relationship with this person, something in which I was not involved — it was nonetheless very upsetting to learn about.”
The statement was quickly upended by a Reuters report on Monday, which claimed that “Granda showed Reuters emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987. ‘Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,’ Granda said in an interview. Now 29, he described the liaisons as frequent – ‘multiple times per year’ – and said the encounters took place at hotels in Miami and New York, and at the Falwells’ home in Virginia. His friendship with the Falwells eventually soured, Granda told Reuters, in part because he wanted to dissolve his ties with the couple and fell into a business dispute with them.”
Granda told Politico about the time he first met the couple while working at a Miami Beach hotel: “During my work shift at the Fontainebleau Hotel in March 2012, I was chatting with some girls my age (20 at the time). Becki said, ‘Those girls don’t know what they’re doing, you need someone with more experience.’ And then she goes, ‘But one thing.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay.’ And she’s like, ‘My husband likes to watch.’ And just then he comes out and he’s wearing a Speedo.”
“He enjoyed watching us in person and also remotely through video cameras. He also listened to our phone calls,” Granda added.
Granda also told the news outlet that he felt “hopeless” and felt he had two choices, “lashing out at them or ending my life.”
Granda added that Trump’s running for president was the catalyst that spurred a financial offer from Falwell Jr. to buy Granda out of his part-ownership in an LGBT-friendly youth hostel in which they had invested together.
Politico adds: “To Granda, the two events appeared to be connected: Jerry Falwell was trying to remove evidence of his family’s ties to Granda in anticipation of getting involved in politics, which could invite greater scrutiny of his activities.”
Granda added that after Trump was elected, Falwell Jr. “was drunk on power and felt like he could get away with anything.”
Falwell said Tuesday that he has resigned as head of evangelical Liberty University after initially denying he had resigned from his post on Monday.