Judge rules against Lt. Gov. Fairfax's claims suing CBS for airing assault accuser interviews

By  | 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- UPDATE BY WDBJ7: A judge ruled in favor of CBS Tuesday in response to Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax's claim of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Fairfax sued CBS Corporation and CBS Broadcasting Inc. after CBS This Morning aired interviews with two women who accused him of separate sexual assaults, one in 2000 and one in 2004, according to the suit's dismissal. The interviews were aired to national audiences on April 1, 2019 and April 2, 2019.

The case memorandum opinion and order says Fairfax "has not plausibly alleged that CBS engaged in actionable defamation or published the challenged broadcasts with “actual malice” or that CBS intentionally inflicted emotional distress."

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria dismissed the case Tuesday, and Fairfax has said he will appeal.

EARLIER: A broadcaster sued by Virginia's lieutenant governor after airing interviews from two women accusing him of sexual assault says his defamation lawsuit is an attempt to silence his accusers.

CBS asked a federal judge in Alexandria to toss out a lawsuit filed by Justin Fairfax.

CBS says in court papers filed Friday it accurately reported the accusations against Fairfax by Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson.

Fairfax, a Democrat, accused CBS News of reporting the allegations to fit a preconceived narrative that implied his guilt.

Fairfax's spokeswoman said Monday that CBS' legal defense conspicuously fails to defend the women's accusations as true.

The accusations about events more than a decade old surfaced when Fairfax appeared poised to succeed Gov. Ralph Northam, who faced calls to resign over a racist yearbook photo.