‘In my ideal world, I’d want him to resign’: Fairfax accusers give 1st TV interviews since coming forward

Posted at 1:08 PM, Mar 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-31 13:09:03-04

Vanessa Tyson (Photo courtesy Stanford University)

The two women who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault will speak with "CBS This Morning" on Monday and Tuesday, giving their first television interviews since coming forward.

After Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson spoke out about their experiences in February, Fairfax faced bipartisan calls to step down from office.

The accusations came amid a turbulent time in Virginia politics, with Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring both facing backlash after admitting to wearing blackface. Fairfax, who would have assumed the position of Virginia's governor if Northam resigned, said he would not resign.

Fairfax called both of the encounters "consensual," and continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Both women expressed interest in testifying before the Virginia Assembly after Virginia Del. Rob Bell announced that the Virginia House Courts of Justice Committee planned to hold hearings on the allegations. Fairfax said in a statement that "the path to finding truth and justice should be based on due process and the work of law enforcement officials."

CBS News reports that though the national news cycle has moved on from Virginia's leadership crisis, Tyson believes Virginians "have a right to know both (her) story and Meredith's story."

"In my ideal world, I'd want him to resign," Tyson told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King.

Fairfax released a statement Sunday saying that he passed two polygraph examinations related to the sexual assault allegations. The polygraphs were reportedly performed by Jeremiah Hanafin, a retired FBI polygraph expert previously chosen to perform a polygraph examination of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

His statement reiterated his calls for law enforcement to investigate the allegations.

The statement reads in part:

"From the moment that Dr. Vanessa Tyson and then Ms. Meredith Watson first made accusations that Lt. Governor Fairfax had committed sexual assault decades ago, Lt. Governor Fairfax has been steadfast in saying that the allegations are extraordinarily serious, deserve to be heard, and should be investigated and taken seriously.  Lt. Governor Fairfax has also been steadfast from the start in saying that a serious, fair, and impartial investigation and examination of the facts would demonstrate that these allegations are false and that he engaged in no wrongdoing whatsoever."

"CBS This Morning" will air Tyson's full interview Monday. Watson's full interview will air Tuesday.

To read more on the sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Fairfax, click here.