Falwell Jr. apologizes for viral vacation photo: ‘Just in good fun’
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. addressed a now-deleted Instagram post depicting his pants unzipped and his arm around a woman, apologizing but saying the photo was “just in good fun.”
“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell said in an interview with WLNI 105.9FM, a Lynchburg, Va.-area radio station. “And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be a good boy from here on out.”
He told the radio station the woman in the photo, seemingly taken on a yacht, was his “wife’s assistant” and that he regretted involving her.
“She’s pregnant, so she couldn’t get her pants up,” he told the radio station. “And I had on pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either. And so I just put my belly out like hers.
“She’s a sweetheart and I should never have put it up and embarrassed her,” he added.
A separate video seemingly shows Falwell and others in a parody of the opening title credits of the Canadian comedy series “Trailer Park Boys.”
“It was a costume party on a — we were on vacation,” Falwell said. “And, anyway, long story short, it was just in good fun. That’s it.”
Screenshots of the photo were shared widely even after Falwell, a key figure among evangelical backers of President Trump, deleted it. Numerous critics accused the university president of hypocrisy, pointing out that Liberty’s student code of conduct calls on students to dress “modestly” and forbids consuming media with sexual content. Falwell is also holding a glass full of an unknown liquid, which the university president said in the caption was “black water” rather than alcohol.
“[I]f you’re running the largest Christian university in America maybe don’t put photos of yourself on social media with your pants undone on a yacht — with random women in bad wigs,” “The View” host Meghan McCain tweeted in response to the photo. “So gross, so hypocritical.”
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