In February, Meredith Watson claimed that Virginia’s lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax raped her while they were in college at Duke University nearly two decades ago. She is now speaking to Gayle King on CBS This Morning.
In an emotional interview Tuesday, Watson claimed she met Fairfax met at the end of her freshman year of college and they were good friends.
“He was someone I really trusted and … during my junior year one night, he invited me to come over to celebrate,” she told King. “He was nearing the end of his senior year and just wanted to hang out and I did not think anything of it because it was normal. It was something we’d done tons and tons and tons of times.”
Watson said she “completely trusted him” but then she alleged he began blocking the door and turned the lights off. “And he did things that you shouldn’t do to someone without their permission. And I tried several times to get up and leave and was pushed back down,” she said.
She continued, “He forcibly sexually assaulted and raped me. I was not on the bed, initially. There was a couch. And he pulled me over and I tried several times to get up and was pushed back down, held down.”
Fairfax denied raping her and said the night in 2000 was consensual. Watson replied, “If you have to hold someone down, it’s not consensual.”
Watson also said that she had confided in Fairfax about being sexually assaulted by a Duke basketball player the year before.
King asked, “Did you ever talk to him [Fairfax] after he allegedly assaulted you, did you ever say, ‘How could you do that to me, you were my friend?'”
Watson explained that because Fairfax knew she had been sexually assaulted before, he believed he could get away with it, “I did. One night after it happened … I was at a party on campus and he came and so I went to leave, like, I left. And he followed me out and was sort of following after me, calling after me. And I was just running trying to get away and then I finally stopped and I turned around. And all I said to him was, ‘Why? Why would you do that to me.’ And he said, ‘I knew because of what happened to you last year that if I got you in the right situation, you would be too afraid to say or do anything about it.'”
She added, “He knew what he was gonna do that night when he asked me to come over.” Watson also addressed the backlash she received, saying as a Black woman she is even less believed and there is an expectation to protect Black men at all costs. Watch below:
Watson’s accusations came less than a week after Vanessa Tyson said Fairfax forced her to give him oral sex during the summer of 2004.
Fairfax has denied both Tyson’s and Watson’s claims. The Fairfax accusers aren’t being allowed to testify publicly before Virginia legislators so they are going public in the media.