ON THE DEFENSIVE

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on Sexual-Assault Allegations: ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on Wednesday denied the sexual-assault allegation against him, calling it “surprising and hurtful.” “Regarding the allegation that has been made against me—while this allegation has been both surprising and hurtful, I also recognize that no one makes charges of this kind lightly, and I take it and this situation very seriously,” Fairfax said in a statement, emphasizing that as a former prosecutor he realizes the importance of sexual-assault survivors “voicing” their stories. “This has been an emotional couple of days for me and my family. And in my remarks on Monday, I think you could hear how emotional dealing with an allegation that I know is not true has been for me.”

Fairfax said that “15 years ago” he had a “consensual encounter with the woman who made the allegation” and at the time, she did not express any “discomfort or concern” about the interaction. “The first indication I had that she felt that anything had happened between us 15 years ago made her uncomfortable was when I was contacted by a national media organization shortly before my inauguration in 2018,” his statement reads. It was released just moments after a report emerged saying that Fairfax told lawmakers “Fuck that bitch” when speaking of his accuser. Fairfax's chief of staff, Larry Roberts, later confirmed to The New York Times Fairfax did say “fuck” during a Senate caucus meeting Monday but denied calling his accuser “a fucking bitch.”