Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax reportedly referred to the woman who recently accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2004 as a “b**ch” in a meeting with advisers Monday night, NBC News reported.
“F**k that b**ch,” Fairfax reportedly said during the private meeting.
Fairfax’s chief of staff, Lawrence Roberts, told the Washington Post that he was present during the meeting in question and denied that Fairfax denigrated Vanessa Tyson, the California professor who on Sunday accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in a Boston hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
“Absolutely not true,” Roberts said. “I was there.”
Fairfax, in a statement released Wednesday, admitted to becoming “emotional” during the Monday night meeting but called on the wider public to treat Tyson with respect.
“I wish her no harm or humiliation, nor do I seek to denigrate her or diminish her voice,” he said.
NEW: Virginia Lt Gov Justin Fairfax released a new statement about the sexual assault allegations against him pic.twitter.com/vNGNVvW0wO
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) February 6, 2019
The sexual-assault allegation leveled against Fairfax came as he was poised to succeed Governor Ralph Northam, who was called on by state and national Democrats to resign over the weekend after a racist photo featured on his 1984 medical-school-yearbook page emerged. The image depicts two men, one wearing blackface and another cloaked in a Ku Klux Klan uniform. Northam denies appearing in the photo, which he claims he saw the for the first time on Friday, and has resisted calls to resign.
Virginia attorney general Mark Herring also admitted on Wednesday to donning blackface to impersonate a popular rap artist when he was a 19-year-old undergraduate at the University of Virginia in 1980. Herring is second in the gubernatorial line of succession after Fairfax.
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