Trump-Tied Evangelist Funded Fontainebleau Pool Attendant's Miami Beach Real-Estate Deal - 2018-12-21
Jerry Falwell Jr., the evangelist son of world-famous Southern Baptist minister Jerry Falwell Sr., runs a hardcore-Christian university and often acts as the public face for the American evangelical movement. That's why it seemed so hypocritical when he endorsed Donald Trump — a sexually rapacious avatar of American greed, racism, and unearned privilege who very clearly does not care about the Bible that Falwell Jr. claims to love so much.
But it's also pretty darn curious that Falwell Jr. recently admitted in court that he paid $1.8 million to a pool attendant at Miami Beach's Fontainebleau resort who had befriended the Falwell family. It was part of an exceedingly odd business deal in which the group tried to buy the Miami Hostel at 810 Alton Rd. in South Beach. The building is attached to the popular Italian restaurant Macchialina and also houses the 120-bed hostel, where a bed costs just $20 per night.
The case raises more questions than answers: Falwell Jr. and his wife appear to have simply "befriended" a then-21-year-old pool attendant while the husband and wife were staying at the ritzy Fontainebleau. They then welcomed the pool attendant into their lives, began flying him around on a private jet, and even put up millions of dollars to help his business ventures. Falwell and his wife have appeared in Facebook photos eating at Macchialina with the pool attendant — a Florida International University graduate named Giancarlo Granda, who now lives in Washington, D.C., and attends Georgetown University.