Lt. Gov. Fairfax files appeal after $400M libel suit against CBS tossed

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has filed an appeal to the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond after his $400 million libel suit against CBS was thrown out in February.

Fairfax “continues to hold CBS accountable for recklessly airing and refusing to correct false, fabricated and politically motivated sexual assault allegations,” a July 28 statement from Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke said.

“Those allegations were suspiciously timed against Fairfax in February 2019 through political rivals at the precise moment he was poised to become the only current African American Governor in the United States of America,” the statement said.

Two women came forward in 2019 to accuse Fairfax of sexual assaults that they said took place in 2000 and 2004.

Fairfax said the encounters were consensual and argued in a September 2019 lawsuit that the network reported the allegations in a way that insinuated his guilt. Fairfax also claims there is an “exonerating third-party witness” to one of the encounters, about which he claims CBS knew but did not include in its reporting.

CBS’ lawyers defended the network’s journalism and accused Fairfax of using the lawsuit to attack his accusers.

Fairfax is a potential 2021 Virginia gubernatorial candidate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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