President and Chancellor of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr. has agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence after a request to do so from the Executive Committee of Liberty University’s Board of Trustees.
Falwell’s leave of absence comes amid backlash from a photo he shared to Instagram from a vacation earlier this month of himself and a woman with their pants unzipped. According to Falwell, during a radio interview, the woman in the photo is an assistant to his wife and was pregnant, preventing her from zipping her pants up.
wut is happening pic.twitter.com/8iEOr9EeRQ
— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) August 3, 2020
“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell said during the interview, which was conducted by phone. “And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be — I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”
Falwell was also met with discontent from North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker, a former Liberty University faculty member who serves on the school’s advisory board.
“Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling,” Walker wrote in a tweet. “As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor @LibertyU, I’m convinced Falwell should step down.”
Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling.
As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor @LibertyU, I’m convinced Falwell should step down.
None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better.
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) August 6, 2020
“None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better,” Walker added. He told CNN:
We cannot look the other way with this kind of behavior where you have this strict code — one that I don’t disagree with in many cases — but you’re out here promoting and talking, speaking with undertones and being smug about even the Instagram posts that I’m going to try to be a better boy from now on.
“There’s no penitent heart in that,” Walker added. “And, and I would hope that he could do better. I’m not here to try to attack him, but I am saying this is not the design of the university or his founding father who literally blood, sweat, and tears created this on the side of a mountain.”