God Forbid: The Sex Scandal that Brought Down a Dynasty” pulls back the curtain on a salacious tale of sex, lies, hypocrisy, and political intrigue.
Dismissed as the “pool boy” in early media accounts, Granda and his sister Lilia depict him as having been naively swept up into the swingin’ lifestyle of Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki, having met the former Liberty University heir and his spouse while providing drink service at a posh Miami hotel.
Granda proceeded to have a long relationship with Becki Falwell, alleging that her husband was fully aware of the arrangement throughout, and endeavored to create real-estate opportunities for Granda in part to keep his wife happy.
“They had this weird psychological hold over me,” Granda says, while his sister – referring to her misgivings about her brother’s actions at the time – says that when financial doors began to open for him, “I thought, ‘However weird this thing started, maybe it’ll turn into something good.’”
As the title makes clear, that wasn’t the case, and the entire story is complicated by the political clout Falwell wielded as an evangelical leader, giving then-candidate Donald Trump a crucial endorsement during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Also detours to explain the history of Liberty’s founding under Jerry Falwell Sr., the younger Falwell’s somewhat uncomfortable role as the scion to that empire, and the broader evolution of the evangelical movement around the issue of abortion as a political rallying point.
Granda admits that he was ambitious but basically over his head dealing with the older Falwells, while being bedazzled by their money and connections.
“God Forbid” also earns points for not overplaying its hand, telling the story in a relatively concise package – as opposed to extending it into the increasingly popular docuseries format – while still connecting the central scandal to the political tides with which it became inextricably linked.
Jerry Falwell resigned from Liberty in 2020, acknowledging Becki Falwell’s affair with Granda, while stating he was “not involved.” He also claimed that Granda had sought to blackmail the couple, a charge Granda has denied.
This family whom was supposed to be the epitome of holy and sacred was far from it. Once this one man came out about this story so did many others. Liberty University has a strange way of dealing with things and now we know why. The president of this very large christian school wss nothing but a hoax.
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