You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Virginia Lt. Governor Fairfax Files $400 Million Defamation Suit Against CBS News

Justin Fairfax, the Virginia Lieutenant Governor who earlier this year was accused by two women of sexual assault in episodes alleged to have occurred more than a decade ago, has filed a defamation lawsuit against CBS News and CBS Broadcasting, claiming false statements made by his accusers in interviews with anchor Gayle King were published, promoted and publicized without any effort to determine if they were accurate.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks $400 million in damages as well as an injunction against disseminating any statements proven to be defamatory.

“We stand by our reporting and we will vigorously defend this lawsuit,” CBS News said in a statement.

The politician in February was accused by two women. Vanessa Tyson, a college professor, alleged Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004. Meredith Watson. accused Fairfax of raping her in 2000 when both attended Duke University. Fairfax’ suit calls statements the two women made “intentionally fabricated, false, and politically-
motivated.” Their accusations surfaced just as Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was grappling with a scandal tied to a photo discovered on his page in a 1984 yearbook that showed unidentified men, one in blackface and one costumed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Fairfax would have succeeded Northam if he had decided at that time to resign.

Fairfax has described encounters with both women as “entirely consensual.”

The lawsuit takes aim at one of CBS News’ flagship properties, “CBS This Morning,” and one of its best-known anchors. King has seen her profile grow in recent months as she has scored exclusive interviews with newsmakers and celebrities, including musician R. Kelly and the two Fairfax accusers.

The suit alleges CBS “had information that these accusations were false,” and claims comments made by CBS News anchors  “exposed millions of people to lies that have done extraordinary damage to [Fairfax’} reputation and his ability to earn a living. His once-promising career – a lawyer at top firms, former federal
prosecutor, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, candidate for Governor of Virginia for 2021 – has been severely damaged.”


Popular on Variety

More TV

  • An Emmy statue is displayed during

    Expect High Heat and Traffic for Emmys Sunday

    If you work in TV, are a fan of TV, or are in fact a TV yourself, the 71st Primetime Emmys promise to be a treat. Television’s biggest awards show takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday night, with some of Hollywood’s brightest stars set to appear as the entertainment community honors the best of [...]

  • Roma Cinematography

    'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' and 'Roma' Win LMGI Awards for Motion Pictures

    Two major 2018 releases – actioner “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and critics’ darling “Roma” – were honored for film location work by the Location Managers Guild International at a ceremony this evening at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The 6th Annual LMGI Awards also recognized “Chernobyl” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” [...]

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content