Becki Tilley a 53-year-old woman from Winston Salem, N.C. and wife of Liberty University President, and evangelical leader Jerry Fallwell Jr. Becki and Jerry Jr. were married іn 1987 at the Prayer Chapel at Liberty University in a private ceremony that was officiated by the late pastor Jerry Falwell Sr.
The couple has thrее сhіldrеn together including twо ѕоnѕ, Сhаrlеѕ Wеѕlеу (26), Jerry “Trey” Falwell III (30), аnd one daughter, Саrоlіnе Grасе (19). They are the grandparents of two granddaughters, Virginia Rose and Reagan. The family currently lives in Bedford County, VA, right down the street from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.
Becki Tilley is frequently seen in public with her husband. The couple has been in the news due to a recent scandal involving Trump’s former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen. In a recorded conversation between Cohen and actor Tom Arnold that was reviewed by Reuters, Cohen details how somebody had obtained “personal” photographs of the couple the would typically be kept “between husband and wife,”. Michael Cohen intervened and destroyed the photographs before they could be made public.
Jerry Falwell Jr. and Becki Tilley have been vocal supporters on Donald Trump and their endorsement was one of the main reasons he won the 2016 Republican primary and Presidency.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Becki Tilley Met Jerry Fallwell Jr. When She Was 13 Years Old
According to a passage from the book Falwell Inc.: Inside a Religious, Political, Educational, and Business Empire by Dirk Smillie, Jerry Falwell Jr. “met his wife, the former Becki Tilley, an attractive brunette, when she was 13.” Jerry and Becki started dating when she was a freshman at the University of Virginia and Jerry was a second-year law student.
The book doesn’t describe how the two met or if they maintained contact in the 5 years between meeting and dating at UVA. It does quote Jerry Jr. who said Becki was “interested in an M-R-S degree” adding “code for ‘husband hunting'”. The two went on horseback riding dates “atop Candler’s Mountain” near Liberty University and were married shortly after Jerry Jr. graduated in October 1987.
2. She’s a Vocal Supporter of Donald Trump
Jerry Falwell Jr. received backlash from several of Liberty University’s well-known alumni after he endorsed Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries. After a prominent member of Liberty’s board of trustees, Mark DeMoss, publicly critiqued Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump. According to ReligionNews.com, DeMoss “challenged Falwell Jr’s claim that Trump is similar to the late Jerry Falwell Sr. who DeMoss served as chief of staff for many years.” DeMoss is an influential figure at the university, and the largest building on Liberty’s campus is named after his father.
Becki responded with a post on her Facebook page that’s since been deleted.
In the post she criticized Mark DeMoss, “Sorry, Mark DeMoss, I remember that you resigned in protest after working for Jerry Sr. for 5 years after graduating from LU in the 1980s because you didn’t agree with Dr. Falwell’s actions. Now you suddenly are trying to speak for Dr. Falwell [Sr.] as his ‘confidant’! It’s easy for alumni to sit back now and talk about the ‘good ole days’ at LU when there was no political controversy or bad press but the facts tell a different story.”
She also challenged his claims that Trump and Falwell Sr. were dissimilar saying Falwell Sr. “was outspoken with his politically incorrect statements and embraced sinners” and “supported a divorced and remarried Hollywood actor over a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher for president.”
3. She Received Backlash from Liberty University Students for Controversial Comments Regarding Transgender People
During a Conservative Political Action Conference roundtable that featured the Falwells and Donald Trump Jr. in March 2019, Becki Tilley announced that she recently welcomed a granddaughter named Reagan. Trump Jr. remarked that he pushed for the girl to be named Trump. Jerry Falwell responded that the “Trump” name was not “feminine.”
Becki then spoke up “she is a daughter” and that “we’re raising her as a girl. We’re not letting her have a choice. God makes the choice of what the babies are gonna be. And God decided she was a girl.”
Her comments caused an outcry from some students at Liberty University, a school that was named the “Most Conservative College in America” in 2016. 30 students attended a protest as a result of Becki’s comments. Addyson Gardner, a senior at the university who organized the protest, called Becki’s comments “transphobic“. “Regardless of where you stand, we all agree that we should show those students love and support,” Garner, who also serves as senior class president, said. “Respecting people shouldn’t be controversial.”
4. She Partnered with a 21-Year-Old Pool Attendant to Open a Hostel in Miami
In May 2018, Buzzfeed News obtained court documents from a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County that detailed how Jerry Falwell Jr. “went into business with a young pool attendant he and his wife met while staying at a luxury hotel in Miami Beach.” Becki and Jerry met Giancarlo Granda at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2012 and agreed to purchase the building that would eventually become the Miami Hostel.
The suit was brought by a father and son named Jesus Fernandez Sr. and Jesus Fernandez Jr., who claim that they came up with the idea of the Miami Hostel and were promised a part of the business but have received no compensation. Trey Fallwell provided a statement to Buzzfeed saying, “I will not be making any comments regarding the litigation other than to state that my clients deny the allegations in the Complaint (which contains a multitude of false statements) and deny any claims of wrongdoing.”
5. Her Father Was Convicted of Tax Fraud in 2015
In 2015 Becki Tilley’s father, Tom Tilley, was convicted for his involvement in a scheme to evade paying federal income taxes.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Tom engaged in “complex schemes” to impede the administration and to “enrich themselves and not pay their fair share.” The judge in the case ordered Tom Tilley to pay over $7 million in restitution to the IRS.
Tom donated $250,000 to Liberty University to finance the Tilley Student Center that opened in 2008. But from 1993 to 2010, Tom submitted fraudulent financial documents to the IRS and that he failed to file his taxes despite earning substantial income from being a mobile home mogul in North Carolina.