Jerry Fallwell Jr., Trump Ally and Liberty University President, Takes Indefinite Leave After Viral Lewd Photo

Jerry Fallwell, Jr. has been asked to take an indefinite leave of absence from Liberty University, where he is president. The request comes after Fallwell posted a photo to Instagram that showed him with his pants unzipped and one arm around a woman.

"The Executive Committee of Liberty University's Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board, met today and requested Jerry Falwell Jr. take an indefinite leave of absence from his roles as President and Chancellor of Liberty University, to which he has agreed, effective immediately," a statement from the Lynchburg, Virginia institution read, according to the Daily Mail. The statement did not go into any detail as to why Falwell was asked to take the leave. However, the statement does come after Tuesday's now-deleted Instagram post. Others associated with the conservative Christian institution have even called for Falwell, Jr.'s resignation.

On Wednesday, Fallwell, Jr. tried to explain the post in an interview with Lynchburg's Morninline on WLNI 1059, where he claimed the woman in question was his wife's assistant. "You know it was weird because she's pregnant, she couldn't get her pants up, and I was, trying to like — my, I had on a pair of jeans I haven't worn in a long time so I couldn't get mine zipped either," Falwell continued. And so I just put my belly — I just put my belly out like hers. I should never have put it up and embarrassed her because, um, anyway, I've apologized to everybody and I promised my kids, I'm gonna try to be a good boy from here on out."

Falwell, Jr. was also asked if the picture was intended to be a sendup of Trailer Park Boys. "Whatever," he replied. "It was a costume party on a — we were on vacation. Anyway, long story short it was just in good fun. That's it."

Back in March, Liberty University had come under fire for re-opening amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was Falwell, Jr.'s decision to open its doors in March, just after spring break, despite the push for self-isolation to help slow the spread of COVID-19.