News

Politics & Policy

Tyson Told Five People of Fairfax Allegations before Going Public

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax speaks on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., November 7, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Several months before going public with her sexual-assault claim against Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax, Vanessa Tyson described the alleged attack to several of her colleagues at Stanford University, the New York Times reported Friday.

During a lunch she hosted in the fall for fellow academics, Tyson described being sexually assaulted during the 2004 Democratic National Convention by a man who has since enjoyed political success.

“What she told us was pretty much exactly what was in the statement that she released but with vastly less detail,” Elizabeth Armstrong, a fellow in the Stanford program and a professor at the University of Michigan, told the Times.

In total, Tyson reportedly told five separate individuals of the alleged assault in the two years leading up to her publicly accusing Fairfax on Sunday evening.

In a detailed statement released by her attorneys on Wednesday, Tyson claimed Fairfax lured her to his Boston hotel room during the convention and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Fairfax has denied the allegation and claimed the interaction was consensual.

In explaining the timing of her decision to go public, Tyson said she felt compelled to come forward after learning that Fairfax would likely succeed Ralph Northam as governor of Virginia due to the emergence of a racist photo from the Northam’s 1984 medical-school yearbook.

Diane L. Rosenfeld, a founding director of the Gender Violence Program at Harvard Law School, told the Times that Tyson describe the incident to her in December 2017.

“Everything she said in her statement was exactly what she told me when we talked,” Rosenfeld said. “She’s not doing this for any fame. She’s not suing him for money, so disbelievers and doubters can’t say, ‘Oh, she just wants money.’ She just wants, as she says, the Virginia voters to know who this person is.”

Scripps College in California, where Tyson now serves as an associate politics professor, also confirmed in a Thursday evening statement that Tyson had previously “shared with several members of the Scripps community the details about a 2004 sexual assault,” which were “consistent” with her written statement.

Aides working in the office of Representative Bobby Scott (D., Va.) also said Wednesday evening that Tyson came to them with the allegation roughly a year ago.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

LEARN MORE

Most Popular

Elections

A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats

The crisis of the Democrats is becoming more evident each week. Those of us who have been loudly predicting for years that the Russian-collusion argument would be exposed as a defamatory farce, and that the authors of it would eventually pay for it, are bemused at the fallback position of the Trump-haters: that ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar: A Hostage Situation

‘It has to stop,” says Representative Ilhan Omar. No, it does not. Representative Omar, the Jew-hating Minnesota Democrat, is engaged in one of her usual games of misdirection, a pattern of hers that by now is familiar enough to be predicted: She says something outrageously stupid, offensive, ... Read More
Elections

Why ‘Stop Sanders’?

'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?” T. S. Eliot asked. “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” And where is the intelligence we have lost in cleverness? Cleverness is the plague of our political classes, an influenza of the intellect. The consultants are always trying to ... Read More
Immigration

Trump Is Hell-Bent on ‘Owning the Libs’

President Trump is looking into giving a free trip to San Francisco, New Orleans, or other great American cities to tens of thousands of refugees from Central America. All so he can own the libs. “Owning the libs” is one of those phrases to have emerged over the past few years that vacillates between ... Read More