Jerry Falwell, Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Liberty University after being ousted from his position as Chancellor when sexual scandals came to the surface last summer.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Lynchburg Circuit Court with claims of defamation and breach of contract.
“When Mr. Falwell and his family became the targets of a malicious smear campaign incited by anti-evangelical forces,” reads the lawsuit, “Liberty University not only accepted the salacious and baseless accusations against the Falwells at face value, but directly participated in the defamation. This action seeks redress for the damage Liberty has caused to the reputation of Mr. Falwell and his family.”
Falwell was pushed out of his position as Chancellor at the Christian university founded by his father after a racy photo was posted to Instagram and an expose on a business partner’s sexual relationship with the couple, amid other stories that came to light.
Falwell has denied any involvement in the affair between business partner Giancarlo Granda and Falwell’s wife.
The lawsuit argues that as a result of statements made by Liberty University, “Mr. Falwell has suffered damage to his reputation, damage to his profession, humiliation, and anguish; lost business opportunities; and suffered other pecuniary damage.”
The lawsuit does not provide a dollar amount for damages.
Further than blaming Liberty for his loss of reputation and business opportunities, the lawsuit also calls out The Lincoln Project as an “anti-Trump political action committee”, claiming that it played a hand in Falwell’s downfall by providing financial support to Falwell’s political opponents.
The lawsuit argues that Liberty “play(ed) right into the hands of sinister operatives with ulterior motives.”
While an adviser for The Lincoln Project did provide help to Granda with public relations after the scandalous story broke, the group has denied any involvement with the story coming to light.
In a statement regarding the lawsuit, Falwell said, “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.”
Liberty University Vice President and spokesman Scott Lamb has told media outlets that they must review the lawsuit before making any comments.