Jerry Falwell Jr., the rabidly anti-LGBT president of Liberty University, says he’s “apologized to everybody” for a racy photo that sparked a firestorm this week after briefly appearing on his Instagram account.
The since-deleted photo showed Falwell Jr., one of President Donald Trump’s top evangelical supporters, with his pants unzipped and his underwear showing, alongside a woman he claims is his wife’s assistant. The woman’s pants were also unzipped, and Falwell Jr. was holding a glass containing a dark liquid, which he claimed in the caption was “just black water.”
“You know, it was weird, because she’s pregnant so she couldn’t get her pants zipped,” Falwell told WLNI 105.9 FM, a radio station in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is home to Liberty University.
“I was like, trying to like — I had on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a long time, so I couldn’t get mine zipped either, so I just put my belly out like hers,” Falwell added. “And it was just, she’s my wife’s assistant, and she’s a sweetheart, and I should never have put it up, or embarrassed her. Anyway, I’ve apologized to everybody, and I’ve promised my kids, I’m going to try to be a good boy from here on out.”
Asked about reports that the photo was from a Trailer Park Boys-themed party aboard his yacht, Falwell Jr. said, “Whatever, whatever,” before confirming that it was a “costume party.”
“We were on vacation,” he said. “Long story short, it was just in good fun, that’s it.”
Relevant Magazine notes this isn’t the first time Falwell has been caught with his pants down, so to speak: “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.”