Rising

Fairfax's former mentor says he's 'deeply disturbed' by allegations against him

Lt. Virginia Gov. Justin Fairfax's former Democratic primary opponent and mentor told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Friday that he was "deeply disturbed" by sexual misconduct allegations against Fairfax.  

"I trained Justin for the two years he was in the U.S. attorneys office. I was his mentor," Gene Rossi, who ran against Fairfax in 2017," told hosts Krystal Ball and Mattie Duppler on "Rising." "He's a dear friend." 

"I am deeply disturbed by the allegations against him by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson," he continued. "The reason I'm deeply disturbed is we're talking about crimes, physical violence."

When asked whether he thought more allegations against Fairfax would come out, Rossi said "no comment." 

"For the Republicans, Jill Vogel, who ran against Justin in the lieutenant governor's race, and also Ed Gillespie, they should get a refund from their opposition research people," he said. "Regarding the Democrats, it just fell through the cracks." 

Tyson earlier this month accused Fairfax of forcing her to have oral sex with him at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Meredith Watson also accused Fairfax of sexual assault last week. She said that he raped her while they were both students at Duke University. 

Fairfax has denied the allegations. 

The allegations came out against Fairfax after a yearbook picture from Gov. Ralph Northam's (D) yearbook page emerged showing someone dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan hood and another person wearing blackface. 

Rossi said he has called for both men to resign. 

"It breaks my heart, but I have asked for him to resign," he said, referring to Fairfax. 

- Julia Manchester