Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax denied Monday that he forced a woman into oral sex in a hotel room in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention – a claim which further plunged the state’s two top Democrats into crisis.
His denial came as the state’s governor, Ralph Northam, continued to refuse to resign over allegedly wearing blackface while in medical school and met his cabinet for talks in the wake of his admission that he covered his face in shoe polish to impersonate Michael Jackson.
Fairfax, 39, was revealed late Sunday to be have been accused of forcing oral sex during a hotel room encounter when he was campaigning for John Kerry’s failed presidential bid.
On Monday, he denied assaulting anyone and claimed he was the focus of a ‘smear.’
He also claimed in a written statement that the Washington Post had investigated the claim when he ran for lieutenant governor but had not pursued it because of ‘significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations.’
But within hours that claim was called ‘incorrect’ by the Washington Post, which said it had not been able to corroborate either version and had not found any ‘red flags’ in the woman’s account.
Stanford University fellow Vanessa Tyson reportedly suggested in a private Facebook post that Fairfax sexually assaulted her. The post was obtained by Big League Politics. Her description lines up with Justin Fairfax, the Virginia lieutenant general’s biography
The Post did not name the woman, but the website Big League Politics – which first revealed how Northam had a picture on his medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface beside a man in a KKK outfit – revealed how Vanessa Tyson, a Stanford academic, had hinted at accusing Fairfax of assault.
It published a private social media posting made on Sunday, which Tyson was said to have given permission to make public, which said: ‘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 uo 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.
‘Then by some strange, horrible luck, it seems increasingly likely that he’ll get a VERY BIG promotion.’
Tyson lives in Los Angeles, roughly 3,000 miles from Virginia, and the biographical details align with Fairfax.
She is a Scripps College professor who is currently a Stanford fellow. Her fellowship is focusing, according to the college’s website, on ‘politics and policies surrounding sexual violence against women and children in the United States.
‘More specifically, she will explore political discourse surrounding sexual assault, corresponding policies, and the unique identities of sexual assault survivors.’
It notes that Tyson, a Princeton and University of Chicago graduate, has volunteered as an advocate for sexual violence awareness and prevention. DailyMail.com has reached out to her for comment.
Fairfax and the Washington Post both confirmed that the newspaper investigated allegations of an assault at the convention – although neither named the alleged victim.
The account given in the Post said that the woman was left ‘crying and shaken.’
‘She said Fairfax guided her to the bed, where they continued kissing, and then at one point she realized she could not move her neck,’ the newspaper reported.
‘She said Fairfax used his strength to force her to perform oral sex.’
The Washington Post said Monday that it was approached by the woman in 2017 and carefully investigated but never published a story for lack of any independent evidence.
The Post said the woman had not told anyone about it, the account could not be corroborated, Fairfax denied it, and the Post was unable to find other similar allegations against him among people who knew him in college, law school or in politics.
WUSA9 was also aware of the claim and decided against airing it after it could not corroborate the story, the news channel said.
A statement from his office early Monday morning denied the charge and said, ‘Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect.
‘He has never assaulted anyone – ever – in any way, shape, or form.’
At the state capitol, Fairfax told reporters it was a ‘smear.’
He was speaking as Northam held talks with his cabinet – but not Fairfax – over whether he should quit after the blackface revelations.
He had held on over the weekend despite a disastrous three days which saw him first admit he was in the yearbook picture, then deny it, then admit he put on shoe polish to impersonate Michael Jackson, use a press conference to say it was difficult to get off, and only be stopped by his wife from moonwalking, and be called on to resign by dozens of senior Democrats.
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SOURCE: Associated Press / Daily Mail – Francesca Chambers