Top Va. Republican Senator Edited 1968 Yearbook With Blackface Photos, Racial Slurs

Saturday, 09 Feb, 2019

A second woman has come forward to accuse the deputy governor of scandal-plagued Virginia of sexual assault.

The nearly exponential blackface scandal ensnaring the state's top Democratic leadership has now reached the upper echelons of the Old Dominion's Republican Party.

Republican Senator Thomas Norment, left, greets Democrat Lieutenant Governor-elect Ralph Northam, right, as Virginia's General Assembly reconvenes following a holiday break at the Virginia State Capitol on January 8, 2014, in Richmond. She said Fairfax would have further response later.

According to Ms Watson's legal representatives Smith Mullin, former classmates have provided statements corroborating Ms Watson's allegations and stating that she "immediately told friends that Mr Fairfax had raped her".

Watson says she doesn't want any money from Fairfax - she just wants him to resign.

In a positive sign for Northam, even before he announced his plan to stay in the job, a lawmaker from Virginia's Democratic-leaning D.C. suburbs said Friday he won't call on the besieged governor to resign.

The delegation - consisting of the state's two U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and seven USA representatives - repeated its call for Northam to resign, and said the allegations against Fairfax "need to be taken very seriously", though it stopped short of demanding a formal investigation. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor.

Northam has faced widespread calls for his resignation - including from the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which reiterated its initial condemnation of his actions in a statement released Thursday. It is demonstrably false. 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. "It is obvious that a vicious and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me", he said.

"Much of the discussion has, rightfully, centered around who we are as Democrats as we continue to stand against racism and against sexual assault". He insisted their encounter was consensual.

Embattled Gov. Ralph Northam apologized to state workers and pledged to lead Virginia forward in an email Friday one week after addressing a racist photo that surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook. Northam also admitted to darkening his face when at a dance competition. Northam told his top staff Friday that he would not resign.

Shortly afterwards, a rightwing website published a claim that Fairfax sexually assaulted Tyson.

Mr Fairfax, 39, said in a statement to U.S. media: "I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation". In a statement, he explained that his friends "suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song".

The Virginia GOP didn't hesitate to point out that the mild reaction amounted to what the party described as a "hall pass".