Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax is suing CBS for defamation for $400 million over its reporting about allegations of sexual assault against him.
CBS This Morning reported in April allegations of rape and sexual assault against Fairfax, but Fairfax claims the allegations are fabricated, according to the New York Times.
Via e-mail, a CBS spokesperson told iMediaEthics “We stand by our reporting and we will vigorously defend this lawsuit.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Sept. 12. He alleges the claims by the women were “intentionally fabricated, false, and politically-motivated” and CBS “published, promoted, and amplified these false statements.”
The lawsuit also links the allegations to controversies surrounding CBS’s Charlie Rose, Jeff Fager and Les Moonves, all three who have been fired related to inappropriate conduct.
“Consequently, Gayle King and her CBS This Morning team intentionally failed to investigate leads- – some provided directly to CBS by Fairfax’s team prior to the stories being aired on the network — that would have placed the truthfulness” of the allegations against him “in serious doubt.”
The lawsuit also claims that CBS “had information” that the accusations by one of the women were false and that CBS failed to follow “standard journalistic practices” and ask “basic factual questions” of the women.