In the new trailer for God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty, Hulu’s documentary on the scandal that ended with Jerry Falwell Jr. resigning from his position as head of Virginia’s Liberty University, he and his wife Becki are described as “the southern Gatsbys.” They wielded great influence over the evangelical community and hobnobbed with former President Donald Trump.
Then came Giancarlo Granda, a pool boy-turned-business partner of the Falwells, who alleged that he had a sexual relationship with Becki for roughly seven years and that her husband sometimes watched their encounters.
“As a pool attendant, I would get hit on,” Granda says in the trailer for Hulu’s Adam McKay-produced documentary released Wednesday. “But if I would have known that accepting this woman’s invitation to go back to her hotel room would have led to a scandal involving the president of the largest Christian university in the world, and the president of the United States, I would have walked away and just enjoyed my private life.”
When the Granda story exploded in August 2020, Falwell — already embroiled in controversy for other reasons — left his position at Liberty, the private institution that his father co-founded in 1971. He walked away with $10.5 million in pay, and without admitting to any wrongdoing, according to the Washington Post. Falwell denied that he had been involved with Granda, but he and his wife both said that she had had an affair with him.
“They have a public image, but behind the scenes, they’re freaks,” says Granda, whose book on the subject, Off the Deep End: Jerry and Becki Falwell and the Collapse of an Evangelical Dynasty, was released Sept. 27.
He alleges in the clip that Falwell “liked to record his wife having sex with me.”
In response to that claim in the trailer, which premiered on People, Becki Fallwell told the magazine that that was incorrect. She cited a Vanity Fair story from January in which she said that she had made sex tapes with Granda, with his consent. Both Falwells have said that Granda has attempted to blackmail them, a claim that he has denied.
Comedian Tom Arnold was interviewed for the doc, too, because of his unlikely association with the story through former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty premieres Nov. 1 on Hulu.