But within days Fairfax was fending off a scandal of his own as the same conservative website that first disclosed Northam's yearbook photo published oblique allegations that Fairfax had been accused of sexual assault. It is no longer appropriate for him to serve. It is demonstrably false.
"With this second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault, Justin Fairfax should resign", Sen.
Fairfax has strongly denied the allegations - now being made by two women - and says he has insisted he has no plans to resign. According to the statement, the details of the alleged attack are similar to the ones contained in Tyson's allegations.
In her response, Tyson called Fairfax's attempts to discredit her "deceitful, offensive, and profoundly unsettling".
"At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be office the highest character", the statement said.
The top three Democrats in Virginia's state government are now contending with various controversies, including Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring admitting to having worn blackface in the 1980s. "I call for his immediate resignation", said McAuliffe on Twitter. There's no question that Virginians' faith in their government and leaders has understandably been deeply shaken.
Update: I wouldn't risk ruining his life by presuming the worst about him based on one allegation.
"As one of seven working on a 359-page yearbook, I can not endorse or associate myself with every photo, entry, or word on each page", he wrote, adding he did not appear in or take any of the photos in question. "Nor will I request any other official to resign until it is obvious that they have committed a crime in office or their ability to serve is irredeemably compromised".More news: Body recovered from Emiliano Sala plane wreckage
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Her legal team said in the statement that they have accounts from former classmates corroborating that she told them about the rape at that time.
Fairfax vowed to clear his "good name", and noted he has passed Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks and run for office "with nothing like this being raised before". While she is not calling for any criminal or civil action to be taken against Fairfax, she says he should step down.
Meredith Watson said Fairfax's attack was "premeditated and aggressive", and calls for Fairfax to resign. We believe these allegations need to be taken very seriously, and we respect the right of women to come forward and be heard.
All three men have come under pressure to resign.
But Herring admitted in a statement Wednesday that he too wore blackface in college for a costume depicting a rapper.
The allegations swirling around Fairfax are just one part of three scandals that engulfed Virginia Democrats this past week.
In 1968, Senate majority leader Thomas K. Norment was the managing editor of Virginia Military Institute's "The Bomb" yearbook, which featured multiple blackface photos and racist nicknames and slurs.
The tumult in Virginia began late last week, with the discovery of a photo on Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook page that showed someone in blackface standing next to another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. "It is unacceptable that either of these weighty responsibilities be entrusted to someone who has engaged in the behavior described by Dr. Tyson and Meredith Watson, particularly in the light of Gov. Northam's situation, which we continue to believe requires his resignation".