Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. posted — and then apparently deleted — a bizarre Instagram post in which he appeared with his shirt hiked up and his pants unzipped, standing next to a woman identified as a “friend.” In the caption, Falwell wrote the drink he was holding was “just black water” and a “prop only.”
The post was captured by Houston Chronicle reporter Robert Downen before it was deleted. The caption says that “Lots of good friends visited us on the yacht.”
wut is happening pic.twitter.com/8iEOr9EeRQ
— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) August 3, 2020
As president of the large and influential Christian university his father founded, Falwell has weathered frequent criticism in recent years for his pugilistic Twitter tone, cavalier attitude towards COVID-19 and accusations of racial insensitivity that have led to a wave of high-profile departures among Black Liberty students.
Falwell has also come under scrutiny for past accusations of salacious activity. There have been reports that President Donald Trump’s one-time fixer-turned-adversary Michael Cohen once briefly attempted to help the Falwells deal with a leak of sexually revealing photos, and photographs of Falwell at a nightclub have surfaced. Falwell has said the images were photoshopped.
In the hours after the screenshot of the photo was posted, Falkirk Center fellow Malachi O’Brien tweeted that the photo was “not President Falwell.” The Falkirk Center is the conservative thinktank Falwell started in partnership with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. O’Brien deleted that tweet and posted an update, confirming “it was Jerry.”
O’Brien also said that the photo in question was “taken out of context of the other photos w/ it.”
“What it was was being used to imply is ungodly & seems to have been posted out of context for that reason,” O’Brien tweeted.
Falwell has posted other photos from what appears to be same vacation that show him with friends and family.
On Twitter, an account run by a Liberty alumnus wrote that a student who posted a similar post would have been required to attend “at least one required meeting with the office of student leadership or Resident Director.”
Imagine posting this while living on the dorms.
This would have been at least one required meeting with the office of student leadership or Resident Director
I’m not for legalism, but I do think we should keep figureheads accountable for how they represent their community pic.twitter.com/UiTpnT5ENZ
— Give Me Liberty-Post Grad (@People_Of_LU) August 3, 2020