Several weeks after Jerry Falwell, Jr. sued Liberty University for allegedly damaging his reputation, he has chosen to drop the case entirely.
Maybe he realized that he’s responsible for all the humiliation he’s receiving.
The lawsuit was a joke to begin with in large part because the guy who posted a bizarre picture of himself with his fly unzipped and belly out, and who “liked” photos of younger women in not-so-Christian poses, and who posted a racist tweet in response to the governor of Virginia mandating face masks in public spaces, and who called a parent “dummy” for asking why Liberty was reopening during the COVID crisis, and who censored the school’s own journalists, and who apparently fell down the stairs because he got hammered one night last month, was claiming that his former university was making him look bad.
Falwell accused Liberty — and, for some reason, the anti-Trump Lincoln Project — of defaming him:
In his Complaint filed in the Commonwealth of Virginia Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg, Mr. Falwell claims that Liberty 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 the Complaint, these statements had the effect of affirming false claims that an individual made publicly against Mr. Falwell after years-long attempts at extortion against Falwell and his wife Becki. Based on research and investigation, this individual appears to be supported financially by political opponents of Mr. Falwell in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, likely including the anti-Trump political action committee called The Lincoln Project.
The Complaint, which includes claims of Defamation and Breach of Contract, alleges that Liberty University officials accepted the false claims against Mr. 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.”
Falwell added in a statement at the time, “I must take the necessary steps to restore my reputation and hopefully help repair the damage to the Liberty University brand in the process.”
His case was never strong, but more to the point, it’s not like a victory would have salvaged his reputation when Falwell was his own biggest enemy. The reason everyone’s been mocking him has everything to do with his own behavior, not some public statement from Liberty’s Board of Trustees. (The lawsuit was also bizarre given that he stood to receive more than $10 million from Liberty U. as part of his severance package.)
Whatever the reason, The News & Advance now says Falwell’s lawyers have told the courts they will no longer be pursuing this case.
Judge James Watson granted the motion, terminating the suit without prejudice. Watson’s ruling leaves open the possibility of Falwell refiling a similar suit at a later date. Under Virginia law, a plaintiff is allowed one nonsuit.
“I’ve decided to take a time out from my litigation against Liberty University, but I will continue to keep all options on the table for an appropriate resolution to the matter,” Falwell said in a brief statement Thursday.
Weird way to say “That was a stupid thing for me to do”… Then again, maybe he deserves some credit. Normally, you need to hire a pool boy to sweep away a mess of this size.
(Portions of this article were published earlier)