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Dismissal of Virginia lieutenant governor’s lawsuit upheld

Virginia Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax looks over a briefing book prior to the start of the senate...
Virginia Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax looks over a briefing book prior to the start of the senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. A California woman has accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) AP(Steve Helber | AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:46 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling dismissing a defamation lawsuit filed by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax after CBS News broadcast interviews with two women who accused him of sexual assault.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Fairfax had failed to “plausibly allege” that CBS made allegedly defamatory statements knowing they were false.

The allegations made against Fairfax were made in 2019, when it appeared Gov. Ralph Northam might resign after a blackface photo on his medical school yearbook page surfaced. But the allegations against Fairfax blunted the momentum for Northam’s resignation.

Fairfax has adamantly denied the allegations and says both encounters were consensual.

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