Justin Fairfax, Ralph Northam’s Second-in-Command, Denies Sexual-Assault Allegation

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax—who would assume the governorship should the embattled Ralph Northam resign over blackface claims—tweeted a statement Monday denying an unsubstantiated sexual-assault claim leveled by the far-right news outlet Big League Politics, The Washington Post reports. The statement comes after Big League Politics ran a story based on the private Facebook post of an unidentified woman, who claimed that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex after they met at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Fairfax’s statement says the allegation is “false” and claims that he has “never assaulted anyone—ever—in any way, shape or form.” His statement also said that after the woman approached The Washington Post with the claim in 2017, the newspaper investigated and found “significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations.” The Post notes, however, that this part of the statement isn’t true, and the newspaper simply “could not find anyone who could corroborate either version.” After the newspaper “found no similar complaints of sexual misconduct against him,” the Post writes, it decided not to publish a story.

In a scathing statement Monday afternoon, Fairfax fired back at the Post and called the allegations a “smear.” “The Washington Post, acknowledging that it had no corroboration, just smeared an elected official,” Fairfax wrote in the statement. “We reiterate that the allegation is false. At no time has the Lt. Governor assaulted anyone at any time or at any place.”