God Forbid

The pool boy speaks out about his affair with the powerful evangelical’s wife in this entertaining documentary.

Giancarlo Granda (as seen in the left photo he provided) is pictured with Jerry Falwell Jr. He claims that Falwell often watched while he had sexual encounters with Falwell’s wife, Becki.

The Jerry Falwell Jr. sex scandal was thrust into the public spotlight, with details of an ongoing ‘throuple’ relationship between Falwell, his wife Becki, and a Miami pool boy. However, as noted in the Hulu documentary “God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty”, there is much more to this story than meets the eye.

Billy Corben, a native of South Florida, is a skilled and versatile director. He has consistently created fast-paced, visually appealing films that often resemble Scorsese’s work. Some examples include the “Cocaine Cowboys” docs, “The U”, “The U Part 2″ on ESPN, and last year’s film about the 2000 election in Florida titled “537 Votes”.”God Forbid” is a visually stunning documentary that tells the incredible but true story of one of the most shocking sex/religious/political scandals of this century. Using archival footage, sit-down interviews, and clever re-creation techniques, Corben weaves together a captivating tale that will leave audiences stunned.

The story begins in 2012 at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach, where Giancarlo Granda was working as a pool attendant. He noticed that an older woman was flirting with him and taking pictures of him on her cell phone. Granda says that she was attractive and he felt flattered by the attention. “She tells me, ‘Don’t waste your time with the younger ones, they don’t know what they’re doing.’ … She makes a proposition, ‘You wanna go back to my hotel room?'”

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God Forbid

Hulu presents a documentary directed by Billy Corben. No MPAA rating. Running time: 109 minutes. Available Tuesday on Hulu.

At that point, Giancarlo Granda didn’t know the woman propositioning him was Becki Falwell. He also had no idea his trysts with her would often entail Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty University president, sitting in a corner of the room while actively observing. (TheFalwells have denied Jerry was ever present during these trysts between Becki and Granda.)He had no idea that the bizarre threesome would last for seven years, or that it would open up some amazing business opportunities for him. But as time went on, things started to get darker and more serious, eventually leading to a scandal that made headline news and destroyed the Falwells’ reputation.(As Granda says at the outset of the film,) “I had no idea that saying yes to a woman’s invitation for drinks would turn into a national scandal involving powerful Christian and government officials.”

“God Forbid” then takes a step back to tell the story of Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., the hardline conservative who established the Moral Majority and Liberty University. After Falwell’s death in 2007, his son Jerry Jr. took over but he was more invested in living a luxurious lifestyle with his partner Becki than continuing his father’s work.

God Forbid

Even as Liberty University was becoming successful in Lynchburg, Jerry and Becki were often out partying in Miami. They would have lavish dinners, drink excessively, and see Granda often- even bringing him into a seven-figure business deal to run a hostel in Miami. They treated him like family.

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In 2019, Jerry Falwell Jr., then president of Liberty University, listened to wife Becki Falwell speak in Las Vegas.

Corben recounted the almost unbelievable story of how Granda found himself flying on private jets and sitting with Falwell’s children at Liberty University events. He also met presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who was courting the Falwell endorsement. Granda eventually wanted out of the personal side of the relationship, much to Becki’s dismay.Some members of the media caught wind of evidence– such as paperwork, personal photos, etc.– linking Jerry Falwell Jr. to a former pool attendant, making the situation far more complicated. In August 2020, Aram Roston from Reuters published an article on it which included an interview with Granda himself. Soon after reading it, Falwell resigned from his position as head of Liberty University. “God Forbid” ends with a big-picture viewnote that extreme evangelicalism could be linked to some of society’s long-standing issues; perhaps this is too much of a stretch or maybe not?

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