Giancarlo Granda is a Miami man recently accused of blackmailing Evangelical leader and Virginia Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. over an affair.
Falwell claimed on August 23 that the 29-year-old had been trying to extort money from him regarding an affair he had with his wife, Becki Falwell, the Religion News Service and Washington Examiner reported.
“I’m just tired of it,” the president relayed to the outlet. “It’s just got to end.”
The Miami native is now speaking out against the explosive accusations, denying any involvement in extortion, according to Reuters. Granda says he was “preyed” upon by Falwell, one of “the most influential figures in the American Christian conservative movement, ” and his partner, Reuters added.
Reuters: “Giancarlo Granda says his sexual relationship with the Falwells began when he was 20. He says he had sex with Becki Falwell while Jerry Falwell Jr, head of Liberty University and a staunch supporter of President Trump, looked on.”
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 24, 2020
Granda was 20 when he met the Falwells in 2012, according to Reuters.
Although he “willingly” entered into a 7-year sexual relationship with the couple, he now feels like he was taken advantage of, he told the outlet.
“Whether it was immaturity, naïveté, instability, or a combination thereof, it was this ‘mindset’ that the Falwells likely detected in deciding that I was the ideal target for their sexual escapades,” Granda expressed.
When their relationship soured, Granda said he sought to “negotiate a buyout” from a business arrangement he had with the pair, Reuters reported.
Exclusive: @JerryFalwellJr says ‘Fatal Attraction’ threat led to depression.
— Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) August 24, 2020
Meanwhile, Falwell was suspended from the private evangelical Christian school earlier this month following “a string of embarrassing acts,” including a provocative Instagram post, according to the Washington Examiner.
He told the outlet that he was suffering from depression at the time, caused by an unnamed friend who had an affair with his wife that was attempting to extort money from him.
Although the president did not drop a name, the Examiner identified the accused as Granda, citing a range of older news articles.
In this 3-way call from 2018, "Becki [Falwell] complained about Granda describing his relationships with other people: 'He’s like telling me every time he hooks up with people. Like I don’t have feelings or something.' Jerry then chimed in: 'You’re going to make her jealous.'" pic.twitter.com/OhhNcqfclP
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) August 24, 2020
Falwell described Becki’s affair as short-lived, according to the Examiner. He then said the situation transpired into a “fatal attraction” type scenario.
“We were doing our best to respectfully unravel this ‘fatal attraction’ type situation to protect our family and the university,” Falwell expressed to the outlet.
Granda has since slammed Falwell’s accusations, insinuating that there is more to the story, the Examiner reported.
In an email sent to the Examiner, Granda wrote:
Any allegation of extortion is falsely, defamatory and belied by clear documentary evidence. The Falwell’s attempt to sandbag me, and the Examiner, with a last minute story without providing the Examiner clear evidence that this was not simply an ‘affair’ with concocted allegations of extortion reeks desperation. The WHOLE truth will come out.
Here’s what you need to know about Giancarlo Granda:
1. Granda is Bilingual & Studied Real Estate Finance & Development at Georgetown University
Granda hails from Miami, Florida and currently lives in Washington, D.C., according to his Facebook page.
He obtained a master’s degree in real estate finance and development from Georgetown University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida International University, his LinkedIn indicates.
Granda, the son of Cuban and Mexican immigrants, describes himself as a bilingual real estate operations professional on LinkedIn, writing:
“Bilingual real estate operations professional with seven years of experience managing a commercial real estate property along with a youth hostel operation.”
2. Granda Used to Have a Gaming Addiction, According to Social Media
Granda is the founder of Gaming Detox, an entity that seeks to “merge the video gaming community with the fitness, health and wellness, sports and martial arts community in order to raise awareness about the importance of living in a healthy and balanced lifestyle,” according to a Facebook post.
In A Scoop of Balance Podcast episode, the real estate professional dives into his “past struggle with video game addiction and how he overcame it.”
The Miami native now strives to help others living in similar circumstances by connecting them to motivational coaches, the podcast episode indicates.
3. Granda Met the Falwells While Working as a Miami Pool Attendant
Granda met and befriended the Falwells in 2012 while he was working as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the New York Times reported. The 20-year-old at the time was also studying finance at FIU.
The Falwells, who were staying at the hotel, were “impressed” by Granda, NYT said. They later offered to help the college student start a business.
Jerry Falwell told the Examiner that Becki Falwell had her affair with Granda while he was working long hours at the university — in which he took the reigns following his father’s death in 2007.
But Granda says otherwise.
Reuters reported that Granda provided the outlet with “emails, text messages and other evidence that he says demonstrate the sexual nature of his relationship with the couple, who have been married since 1987.”
“Becki and I developed an intimate relationship and Jerry enjoyed watching from the corner of the room,” Granda said in an interview, adding that they participated in such encounters “multiple times per year” across the east coast.
4. Granda Runs a Miami Hostel, Thanks to the Falwells
Becki Falwell concocted an agreement in which the Falwells would buy a Miami hostel and put Granda in charge — a move that would later be plagued by legal battles surrounding ownership, according to the Examiner.
The Falwells completed the deal for the Miami Hostel in 2013, the New York Times added.
The hostel, which rents beds for as low as $15 a night, “became known as one of South Beach’s best budget party hostels and is sometimes listed as gay-friendly,” the paper continued.
5. Granda Met President Donald Trump in 2012
When President Donald Trump attended Liberty University in 2012 to speak to the student body, the Falwells invited Granda, the New York Times reported.
The couple flew Granda in for the event, in which Trump shared his business and life tips with students, the newspaper added.
Granda was able to snap a photo with the future president backstage, NYT said.