A second woman accusing Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault released a statement today. Meredith Watson released a statement through her attorney: “We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive. The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship.”
This is the second accusation against Fairfax for sexual assault. The first accusation from Vanessa Tyson has been outright denied by Fairfax.
A statement released by Watson’s representation was as follows: “Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her. Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her. The details of Ms. Watson’s attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson.”
Fairfax has pushed back against the allegations on Friday evening. In response to the pushback by the Lt. Governor, Watson’s attorney released additional details about an interaction between the accuser and Fairfax.
The statement from Watson’s representation is as follows:
We have heard from numerous press sources that in response to Meredith Watson revealing that Justin Fairfax raped her when she was a student at Duke, Mr. Fairfax has chosen to attack his victim again, now smearing her with the typical “she’s nuts” defense. He revealed that Ms. Watson was the victim of a prior rape. That is true. Ms. Watson was raped by a basketball player during her sophomore year at Duke. She went to the Dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further. Ms. Watson also told friends, including Justin Fairfax. Mr. Fairfax then used this prior assault against Ms. Watson, as he explained to her during the only encounter she had with him after the rape. She left a campus party when he arrived, and he followed her out. She turned and asked: “Why did you do it?” Mr. Fairfax answered: “I knew that because of what happened to you last year, you’d be too afraid to say anything.” Mr. Fairfax actually used the prior rape of his “friend” against her when he chose to rape her in a premeditated way. Like he is smearing Dr. Vanessa Tyson, Mr. Fairfax is now smearing Ms. Watson. That’s shameful.
The statement from Watson’s representation continued: The smears on victims of sexual assault have to stop. Why would any woman come forward with information about a powerful man knowing that he and his supporters will stop at nothing to smear and discredit them? Women come forward to support one another and to stop the culture of rape that is even more pervasive than we acknowledge.
Watson requested the resignation of Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax earlier in the day on Friday.
Fairfax’s office says they will be investigating these claims. Fairfax called the accusation “demonstrably false” and he reiterated his request for a “full investigation” into the allegations.
“Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth,” Fairfax said in a statement. “I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide.”
Terry McAuliffe just released a statement calling for the resignation of Fairfax. “The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation.”
We will update you when we have more details. Read the full release from Watson’s representation below.