Five people told The New York Times this week that Dr. Vanessa Tyson had revealed her alleged sexual assault at the 2004 Democratic National Convention to them before she came forward publicly with the accusation against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. All five individuals—three of whom knew Fairfax was the alleged assailant—said Tyson shared her story in “late 2017, early 2018 or last fall,” and it was consistent with her statement released earlier this week. Some of the people she told were reportedly in her Stanford University fellowship program and are now working in academia. Scripps College, Tyson’s employer, told the newspaper she “shared with several members of the Scripps community the details about a 2004 sexual assault” and those conversations were “consistent” with her most recent statement. Over 700 academics have also reportedly signed a letter of support for her. “Everything she said in her statement was exactly what she told me when we talked,” Diane L. Rosenfeld, a founding director of Harvard Law’s Gender Violence Program, told the Times. “She’s not doing this for any fame. She’s not suing him for money... She just wants, as she says, the Virginia voters to know who this person is.”
Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott’s aides earlier said Tyson made an allegation of assault against Fairfax last year to the congressman, but did not provide details at the time. Tyson reportedly did not tell anyone in 2004 about the incident, and she did not notify police after the fact.