Jerry Falwell, Jr., the embattled former president of Liberty University in central Virginia, has dropped his defamation lawsuit against the evangelical Christian college his late father founded in 1971.
“I’ve decided to take a timeout from my litigation against Liberty University,” he said in a statement released Thursday, according to The News & Advance. “But I will continue to keep all options on the table for an appropriate resolution to the matter.”
The ousted university executive has asked a judge in Lynchburg to dismiss his case. However, as the newspaper reported, Falwell has the option of refiling his suit in the future.
Court documents didn’t point to a particular reason Falwell dropped his lawsuit. In its own statement, Liberty University indicated Falwell’s decision “was not prompted by any payments, promises, or other consideration” from the school.
“The university administration and board of trustees are pleased that Falwell has dropped his lawsuit and look forward to pressing onward with the work of Liberty’s president and chancellor search committee to find the new leadership to succeed Falwell,” read the statement from Liberty, according to Fox News.
As Faithwire previously reported, Falwell filed a lawsuit against Liberty in late October. At the time, he argued the leaders of the college wrongly believed the claims of Giancarlo Granda, who revealed earlier this year that the 58-year-old Falwell and his wife, Becki, engaged in a years-long sexual tryst with him.
Falwell said when he filed his suit: “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.”
He noted at the time that, “other than God and my family, there is nothing in the world I love more than Liberty University.”
Falwell, the eldest son of the late preacher and televangelist Jerry Falwell, Sr., resigned his post at Liberty after Reuters published a bombshell report in which Granda — a former Miami-based pool assistant — detailed an alleged three-way sexual affair that began when he was just 20 years old. Granda is now 29.
For his part, Falwell has continued to deny any allegations of wrongdoing. Falwell has, however, said his wife is guilty of engaging in an affair that pushed him into an depression. He has also accused Granda of attempting to extort him and his family.