“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Falwell said in an interview on the Morningline show on WLNI 105.9FM, a local radio station in Lynchburg, Va., Falwell’s home town and that of the Liberty campus. “And I’ve promised my kids I’m going to try to be — I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”
Falwell described the woman in the photo as his “wife’s assistant.” On his Instagram account, Falwell tagged a picture of the woman as Kathleen Stone, who lists on her Facebook account that she works for Liberty University. A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“She’s a sweetheart and I should never have put it up and embarrassed her,” Falwell said.
Falwell described the scene leading up to the photo. “She’s pregnant so she couldn’t get her — she couldn’t get her pants up,” he said. “And I was like, trying to like — my — I had on pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either. And so — and so — I just put my belly — I just put my belly out like hers.”
The photo of Falwell appeared to be a parody of the comedy TV show “Trailer Park Boys.” The website Pulpit & Pen also published a video, set to the theme music of the show, that shows Falwell and other yacht guests in costume. The video appears to have been taken by someone on the yacht.
Asked about the reference to the TV show during the interview on Wednesday, Falwell demurred. “Whatever,” he said. “It was a costume party on a — we were on vacation. And, anyway, long story short it was just in good fun. That’s it.”
Falwell’s response comes after the photo drew widespread criticism earlier this week, much of it from liberals but also from some conservatives, including Meghan McCain, the ABC talk show host and daughter of former Sen. John McCain, and S.E. Cupp, the CNN commentator.