Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax threatens to sue conservative website over sexual assault claims
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax has denied sexual abuse claims and says a website that outed the governor’s racist medical yearbook photos is now targeting him with “defamatory and false” allegations.
He plans to sue, Richmond.com reports.
On Sunday, the conservative website Big League Politics, posted a blog comment with the damaging claims against Fairfax saying:
“Imagine you were sexually assaulted during the DNC Convention in Boston in 2004 by a campaign staffer. You spend the next 13 years trying to forget it ever happened. Until one day you find out he’s the Democratic candidate for statewide office in a state some 3000 miles away, and he wins that election in November 2017,” a post from the reported accuser said, according to the blog. “Then, by strange, horrible luck, it seems increasingly likely that he’ll get a VERY BIG promotion.”
The blog also first published the racist photos of Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page that showed two men, one in blackface and one in a KKK robe. Northam first apologized and admitted that he was one of the offenders. He later walked back those comments and denied it was him as lawmakers and constituents called for his resignation.
On Monday, Fairfax’s office released a statement condemning Big League Politics’ post. They explained that the woman who made the claim approached the Washington Post a year ago but the outlet did not publish a story because of inaccuracies.
“The Post carefully investigated the claim for several months,” Fairfax’s office said in a statement. “After being presented with facts consistent with the Lt. Governor’s denial of the allegation, the absence of any evidence corroborating the allegation, and significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegation, the Post made the considered decision not to publish the story.”
PBS News Hour’s Yamiche Alcindor reported that the Washington Post did in fact run a piece on the investigation but was never able to corroborate the details from either version of events.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and the woman told different versions of what happened in the hotel room with no one else present. The Washington Post could not find anyone who could corroborate either version. https://t.co/j8si24K2lY
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 4, 2019
“The Lt. Governor will take appropriate legal action against those attempting to spread this defamatory and false allegation,” the statement read, according to Fox News.
If Northam resigns, Fairfax would be next in line for governor.
Virginia governor Ralph Northam resists resignation
In recent days the blackface issue has heated up after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was came under fire over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook.
There has been unanimous calls from his own party to resign. It was a bizarre weekend in which he first admitted he was in the picture, and then denied it.
The Democrat’s stunning about-face — at a weekend news conference where he also acknowledged putting on blackface to imitate Michael Jackson at a dance contest decades ago, and appeared to briefly entertain the notion of doing the moonwalk for reporters — only seemed to make things worse.
The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus declared that Northam “still does not understand the seriousness of his actions.”