Fairfax suit a chance for him to plead own case, analyst says

Legal analyst Steve Benjamin at computer
Legal analyst Steve Benjamin at computer(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 13, 2019 at 6:32 PM EDT
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Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax may be speaking in front of a judge to defend himself against allegations of sexual assault.

Fairfax filed a lawsuit against CBS on Thursday for airing interviews with his accusers. Attorney and legal analyst Steve Benjamin said the case could finally provide the him the chance to plead his own case.

Benjamin said that with cases like these, it’s up to Fairfax’s legal team to prove that CBS aired what they believe to be false information with wrongful intentions.

In addition, they have to prove CBS failed to properly investigate the claims of Meredith Watson and Vanessa Tyson by not following up with other witnesses that could confirm whether what the women were saying was true.

In the complaint, Fairfax’s defense team also alleges that the company was trying to rectify its own image with proponents of the #MeToo Movement, after it caught itself in hot water with scandals involving longtime anchor Charlie Rose and former CEO Les Moonves, who are both named.

“Sometimes people just want things to go away. They want the public to forget that you’ve been accused of some thing that you didn’t do," Benjamin said. “That’s not possible for Mr. Fairfax and his lifetime goals and for his family. And this illustrates the difficulty for somebody trying to prove their innocence when there’s no forum within which you have any ability to do so. He has created that forum."

The most difficult part for the Fairfax legal team, according to the analyst, is to prove the malicious intent on CBS’ part.

He pointed out that similar cases like these are becoming more common, and perhaps born out of what he believes is “a frustration among politicians with incomplete investigations.”