Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax denies second accusation of sexual assault

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax denies second accusation of sexual assault

Northam has admitted to wearing blackface while impersonating Michael Jackson at a 1984 dance contest, but has denied that he was in a yearbook photograph depicting a man in blackface sharing a beer with a hooded klansman.

Today, Gov. Northam sat down with CBS "This Morning" to discuss the current quagmire his administration finds itself forced to deal with.

On Friday, a second woman came forward to say that she was raped by Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

He said he tasked his Cabinet "to think over the weekend how we could change and make new policy, how we could reshape Virginia through their Cabinet positions". "There's no better person to do that than a doctor", he said.

"It's sad to see these things reclaiming the spotlight, just because I don't think it's reflective of who we are as a people, as the commonwealth of Virginia, and really as a country", said Robert Andrews, president of the University of Virginia College Republicans.

Consider: In just 10 days, Gov. Ralph Northam has admitted to being in the racist photo - then denied it, then admitted to wearing blackface on a separate occasion. Beyer called that a "damning" number for a Democratic official in Virginia, despite 58 percent of the African-Americans surveyed saying Northam should stay in office.

Northam at first said he was one of the men in the photo, but a day later said neither of them was him.

Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from state House and Senate Democrats, the Legislative Black Caucus, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's two USA senators - Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also both Democrats - and several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls. Fairfax would become governor if Northam resigns. I also plan to reach out to our colleges and universities and talk about sensitivity training.


In an earlier interview with the Washington Post Mr Northam promised to set up race sensitivity training for state employees, and "take a harder line" on Confederate statues in public places in the state. "If I had it to do over again, I would step back and take a deep breath".

"It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me", he said in a statement. He added: "That's why I'm not going anywhere". Ms. Watson stands ready, although it will be painful, to tell the Virginia Legislature what Mr. Fairfax did to her when she was 20 years old.

Rep. Don Beyer called Northam's initial admission, and then denials, that he was in a racist photo "very freaky".

Meredith Watson came forward Friday alleging that Fairfax raped her 19 years ago while the two were students at Duke, describing the incident as "premeditated and aggressive" and noting they had been friends at the time in a statement released by her lawyer.

In his comments to CBS, Northam stopped short of joining the growing chorus of leading Democrats saying that Fairfax needs to quit his post. "So, I'm not sure that's true or not, but there's an allegation".

That's a question the state of Virginia has been grappling with since last week when its governor, Ralph Northam, was caught up in a row over blackface: the crude caricaturing of African Americans as a means of entertaining white people since the minstrel shows of the 1830s.

"Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her". The polling was conducted before the second sexual allegation against Fairfax.

He told Gayle King on Face the Nation that: "Yes, I have thought about resigning".

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