Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax sues CBS over accuser interviews

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate during the session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Fairfax filed a $400 million defamation lawsuit Thursday, Sept. 12 against CBS Corp. and CBS Broadcasting in New York, alleging the network published false statements by two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit filed by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax against CBS (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Attorneys for one of the women accusing Virginia's lieutenant governor of sexual assault say Justin Fairfax's defamation lawsuit against CBS over an interview she gave is a "ploy" to preserve his political career.

The attorneys for Vanessa Tyson say the college professor stands by statements she made during the CBS interview earlier this year.

Fairfax has sued CBS over that interview and a separate one the company did with a second accuser, Meredith Watson. He's accusing CBS of defamation, saying nobody at the company investigated or adequately fact-checked the women's allegations.

Fairfax has said the encounters were consensual and the women's allegations were politically motivated.

Nancy Erika Smith is an attorney for Watson. Smith says, "We look forward to everyone testifying under oath, now that this matter is in court."

CBS said in a statement that it stands by its reporting and will "vigorously" defend the lawsuit.


11 a.m.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has filed a $400 million lawsuit against CBS, alleging the company defamed him when it broadcast interviews with two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday alleges nobody at the company investigated or adequately fact-checked the allegations made by Meredith Watson or Vanessa Tyson before airing them. It says CBS' actions have damaged Fairfax's reputation and ability to earn a living.

Fairfax has adamantly denied the women's allegations and said their actions were politically motived.

The women leveled their allegations at a moment when Fairfax seemed poised to ascend to the governor's post. Virginia's governor was facing calls to resign over a racist photo.

The Associated Press sent a request for comment to CBS.

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