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World News

Jerry Falwell Jr temporarily drops defamation lawsuit against Liberty University

by Will Maule

The former president of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr has decided to take some "time out" from a lawsuit he filed which claimed that the evangelical university had defamed him following his resignation over a much-publicised sex scandal. 

Last week, a judge granted a motion that dismissed the case but left open the possibility of Falwell refiling a similar one at a later date. Court documents did not indicate a reason for why Falwell chose to drop the case. 

“I’ve decided to take a time out from my litigation against Liberty University, but I will continue to keep all options on the table for an appropriate resolution to the matter,” he told the News and Advance in a short statement.

In his suit, Falwell Jr argued that Liberty was quick to put its weight behind the claims of Giancarlo Granda - a former business associate of Falwell who allegedly had an affair with Jerry's wife, Becki Falwell.

Liberty claims it has acted fairly during the debacle, noting that Falwell's dismissal was "unilateral and voluntary" and "not prompted by any payments, promises, or other consideration”.

The university added that it was "pleased that Falwell has dropped his lawsuit" and that it looked forward "to pressing onward with the work of Liberty’s President and Chancellor Search Committee to find the new leadership to succeed Falwell". 

Following Falwell's resignation in August, Liberty announced it would be opening an independent investigation into his time as president, including taking a closer look at many of the financial, real estate and legal matters that he presided over. 

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