According to Deadline, Justin Fairfax, takes issue with CBS This Morning for airing a Gayle King interview with Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, two women who in April described the alleged assaults in graphic detail for the viewing audience.
The lieutenant contends that “both encounters were entirely consensual,” and in his suit claims that the network had access to information indicating that the that allegations were false, but instead chose to, “recklessly disregarded whether what Watson and Tyson were saying was, in fact, true.”
Fairfax maintains he “filed this lawsuit so that he can fight these allegations in a court of law, with the protections of due process, and on a level playing field.”
In the report Tyson alleges that Fairfax sexually assaulted her during an encounter in Boston at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Watson claims that she was raped by the official in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University.
Fairfax pushes back that the network ran the interviews “despite having ample opportunity and resources to investigate the veracity of their stories. CBS also had information before and after publishing these defamatory interviews indicating that both allegations had not been corroborated by any independent investigation.”
While Fairfax has remained in office, according to the suit, “his once promising career and political prospects have been severely harmed by the reckless airing of these false allegations.”
But CBS News issued a statement in response to the suit reiterating, “We stand by our reporting and we will vigorously defend this lawsuit.”