legal bind

Jerry Falwell Jr.’s personal trainer files $10M lawsuit, says he’s not just “another pool boy”

Jerry Falwell Jr.’s former personal trainer has just filed a defamation lawsuit against the multinational media conglomerate Reuters over an article it published about him in 2019.

In August 2019, Reuters reported that Falwell gave 23-year-old Crosswhite a sprawling, multi-million dollar, 18-acre fitness facility that belonged to Liberty University plus an additional $650,000 for almost nothing in return.

Shortly after the story broke, a weird video of Falwell and Crosswhite began circulating online. It showed the personal trainer holding a camera out in front of him while shouting at the evangelical leader to “push it!” from behind as he huffed and puffed in response.

The video first appeared on Crosswhite’s Instagram page, but has since been deleted, although not before someone saved it and posted it to YouTube.

Then came a picture of Crosswhite riding a horse bareback at Falwell’s ranch. The photo was posted to his very own Instagram page, where it still remains up. It includes the caption, “Bucket list check off-riding a horse bareback while it swims in the lake.”

All of this, in addition to the Reuters story, had many people speculating about the relationship between Crosswhite and Falwell, who, you may recall, was also at the center of a sex scandal involving his wife and their former pool boy at the time.

Now, Crosswhite is suing Reuters, claiming the report ruined his reputation, which was “untarnished” before the whole world learned about his connection to the Falwells, and caused him “scorn, ridicule, and public humiliation.”

According to the lawsuit, “Until Reuters published the false and defamatory statements at issue in this case, Ben enjoyed an untarnished reputation as a personal trainer and businessman.”

The lawsuit goes on to state that there was “nothing scandalous” about his relationship with the Falwells, and claims Reuters “deliberately or recklessly conveyed a false implication” that he was “another Falwell ‘pool boy.’”

Crosswhite is demanding Reuters fork over nearly $10 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.