AP NEWS

Vanessa Tyson, Justin Fairfax accuser, calls for resignation in CBS News interview with Gayle King

March 31, 2019

Vanessa Tyson, who last month accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of raping her, has not given up her call for his resignation and is ready to testify before the state General Assembly.

“In my ideal world, I’d want him to resign,” Ms. Tyson said in an interview with CBS News.

Ms. Tyson and another woman, Meredith Watson, each came forward with allegations that Mr. Fairfax raped them in separate attacks more than a decade ago.

“The Virginia people need to know who it is that they elected. They need to know. I think the Virginia people, the voters of Virginia, have a right to know,” said Ms. Tyson. “I think there should be a public hearing.”

The rape allegations added to a whirlwind of controversy that swept up Virginia’s top elected Democrats this year, with Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Harris both accused of racism for wearing blackface in the 1980s.

Mr. Fairfax, who is black, said the sex with both women was consensual and that he was the victim of a “political lynching.”

He refused to step down, despite resignation calls from state and national Democratic leaders, including many of the party’s 2020 presidential contenders.

Ms. Tyson, a political science professor at Scripps College in California, first came forward with an allegation that Mr. Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him when they met as campaign aides at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Meredith Watson then told her story of a similar attack by Mr. Fairfax in 2000 when they were students at Duke University.

Virginia House Republicans pledged to hold an ethics hearing where Ms. Tyson, Ms. Watson and Mr. Fairfax can testify, but there has been no action on that front in more than a month.

Lawmakers will have an opportunity for hearings next week when the General Assembly reconvenes for a quick “veto session” to consider the governor’s amendments and vetoes of bills passed during the regular session that ended Feb. 23.

“I would want Meredith, myself and Mr. Fairfax to be able to speak to be heard. And particularly for survivors, I think this is incredibly important. They need to be heard. We need to be seen,” said Ms. Tyson. “We need to be treated as the human beings that we are.”

She made the remarks in an interview with “CBS This Morning’ co-host Gayle King. Excerpts were broadcast Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

The full interview is scheduled to air Monday on the morning news program.

Ms. Tyson has been in contact with the district attorney in Boston, where Mr. Fairfax could face criminal charges because there is no statute of limitation for rape.