| News |

World Red Eye Disputes Falwell's Photoshop Allegations, Uncovers Four Other Photos

President Donald Trump and evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr.EXPAND
President Donald Trump and evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr.
Photo by Shealah Craighead / Wikimedia Commons
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Over the past couple of years, questionable real-estate deals, a dubious association with an attractive pool boy, and unpublished, reportedly compromising photos of his wife have chipped away at the image of famed evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr. Earlier this week, the Trump-supporting president of the conservative Liberty University found himself embroiled in yet another controversy when Politico published a damning story by reporter Brandon Ambrosino, a Liberty alumnus. Included in the report were photos of Falwell, his son, and daughter-in-law partying at Wall, the nightclub inside the W South Beach.

The photos are tame by all standards, but they're controversial for the leader of a university that strictly forbids coed dancing and drinking alcohol. It appears Falwell understands the potential for fallout, because when Ambrosino showed him the photos, the evangelical leader claimed the pictures were doctored. "If the person in the picture is me," Falwell wrote, "it was likely photo-shopped."

Now World Red Eye, the photography agency that snapped the images of Falwell and his family partying at Wall in 2014, is disputing Falwell's allegations of photographic manipulation. This morning, World Red Eye founder Seth Browarnik posted a statement to Twitter in response to Politico's story.

"For 21 years, I have maintained an impeccable reputation for documenting Miami Beach's storied social scene," Browarnik wrote. "We wholly reject Jerry Falwell Jr.'s baseless allegation... that one of our pictures was 'photo-shopped' or manipulated in any fashion."

Adding to the agency's statement, Browarnik tells New Times that World Red Eye "sold the photos to Politico two weeks ago not knowing what the story was about... I had no idea that Jerry Falwell was in there that night until the story ran."

Browarnik says his team went to work looking for all photos of the night in question as soon as he read Falwell's comments to Politico. In the process, the agency uncovered four other photos of the Falwells partying at Wall that night. World Red Eye published the photos on its site this morning.

"We knew we had more photos that were never published," Browarnik says. "That's why we keep names... We have a catalog of over five million photos that we keep for this exact purpose."

The photographer says this is the first time he's ever faced accusations of manipulating his photographs, and he takes the charge seriously. "Obviously, my good name is everything and my business, and I needed to protect what I built for 21 years.

"In my field," he adds, "Photoshopping something in that's not there is probably one of the worst things you can possibly do — and it's not legal."

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.