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Jerry Falwell Jr. resigns from Liberty University after back-and-forth Monday

Jerry Falwell Jr. initially agreed to resign earlier Monday but did not, Liberty University said. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
Jerry Falwell Jr. initially agreed to resign earlier Monday but did not, Liberty University said. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- After resigning and apparently changing his mind, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. again resigned from the post late Monday.

The university's Executive Committee's Board of Trustees said Falwell initially agreed to vacate the post, but changed his mind when news reports about his decision emerged.

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Earlier this month, the university had asked Falwell Jr. to take an indefinite leave of absence after he posted a photo online that showed him standing next to a woman, both of whom had their pants unzipped.

Monday, reports of his resignation also detailed claims by a former Florida pool attendant that he had engaged in a lengthy sexual relationship with both Falwell and his wife.

Falwell, 58, first told the Washington Examiner of his resignation from the evangelical Christian university founded by his father in Lynchburg, Va., saying the ordeal took an "emotional toll" on his family.

Liberty University said later Monday "additional matters came to light that made it clear that it would not be in the best interest of the University for him to return from leave and serve as president."

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Falwell initially agreed to resign immediately, he school said, but then instructed his attorneys not to tender his letter of resignation. He had also told Virginia Business that news reports of his departure were "completely false."

He later told ABC News and The Wall Street Journal that he'd submitted his resignation.

"I was never called to be a pastor, my calling was to use my legal and business expertise to make Liberty University the evangelical version of Note Dame," Falwell told ABC News. "Some of us are called to be preachers, that wasn't mine. I was called to make Liberty University the greatest Christian university's in the world and I couldn't have done that as a preacher."

Falwell has said he and his wife Becki met a man at a hotel years ago while on vacation and that his family later included him in a property investment. He didn't identify the man or comment on the nature of the relationship. Former Miami hotel pool attendant Giancarlo Granda, however, told CNN that he was the subject of Falwell's statement and that he'd met the couple when he was 20.

Acting university president Jerry Prevo, the school's executive committee and board of trustees set meetings for Tuesday to accept Falwell's resignation.

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"I call upon the University community and supporters to be in prayer for the University and for all its leadership, past, present and future, as we walk with the Lord through this stormy time of transition," Prevo said.

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