Justin Fairfax Just Needs To Get The Hell On Out Of Here.
The state of Virginia has been a clusterfuck for what has only been a week but seems like at least four years in news cycle time. And it's not getting any better.
Yesterday, another woman, Meredith Watson, came forward to accuse Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, saying that he raped her when they were both at Duke. Her story is backed up by several people whom she told of the incident at the time, and documented communications with those people. Watson says she came forward because she was horrified to find out he did this to another woman after what he did to her (I know the feeling!), and is not looking for any kind of financial compensation or what have you. She just wants to be heard.
In a 2016 email exchange released by her legal team, Watson responded a former Duke classmate who had invited her to a fundraiser for Fairfax by saying "Justin raped me in college and I don't want to hear anything about him. Please, please, please remove me from any future emails about him please, Thank you!" You can practically feel the pounding heart and gritted teeth and absolute fury and the going cold behind those perky words. I've been there. I know so many other women who have been there. I know the "fuck it right to hell" feeling that leads to a response like that. I absolutely believe her.
Fairfax is denying this allegation as well. Big surprise!
"I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation. It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever," he wrote in a statement. "I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations. Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth. I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide."
The lieutenant governor cited his prior FBI background checks and campaigns as yielding no such history, and stressed that he would not resign."
I have passed two full field background checks by the FBI and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before," he wrote. "It is obvious that a vicious and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me. I will not resign."
Yeah, the FBI probably was not checking with every woman who has ever met him in order to make sure he hadn't raped anyone. That is not a thing the FBI does, as far as I know.
Maybe it's just because Meredith Watson handled this whole situation in a way that is incredibly and deeply familiar to me, by being incredibly frank about it with people she personally talked to without ever officially reporting it, and then feeling shitty about the fact that it happened to someone else, but I absolutely believe her and I believe Justin Fairfax is full of shit. Maybe he doesn't remember what he did, because it didn't matter to him and he just never thought about it again. But I believe he did it.
I know I said this on Thursday, but Justin Fairfax needs to go. Like, yesterday. We don't need this shit. Violent sexual assault isn't a whoopsie. It is not born of ignorance, it is something one does by accident, it is not a miscommunication, it is malice. Plain and simple. It is an actual crime. People go to jail for it, and for good reason -- because they are an actual danger to other people. Justin Fairfax will almost definitely not serve time for what he has done, but he sure as hell does not need to be the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, or anywhere else. He needs to step down, right the hell now.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse