A lawyer for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sent a letter to NBCUniversal demanding NBC correct reports that Fairfax directed profanities toward the professor who accused him of a sexual assault in 2004.
Rakesh Kilaru of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz sent the letter Wednesday demanding NBC cease and desist from reporting that Fairfax said “f--- that b----” about Vanessa Tyson in a private caucus meeting on Monday night, and cease and desist from attributing any other false and unsubstantiated statements to Fairfax.
The letter said NBC reporting staff told Fairfax’s communications director, Lauren Burke, that NBC would “be pulling the initial false reports,” but said tweets from reporters remained online.
“As the Lieutenant Governor’s Chief of Staff has already explained to NBC reporters, the Lieutenant Governor did not say “f--- that b----” in connection with Dr. Tyson — as several NBC reporters have falsely claimed — or otherwise direct any profane language toward her,” the letter said. “The comments NBC reporters published, which were allegedly made at a private caucus meeting, have no credible sourcing. Comments that were never made cannot be reliably sourced.”
Fairfax did use profanity “in describing his general frustration over the false allegations that have been made against him,” the letter said, but “he would not and did not speak about Dr. Tyson in the crass manner NBC reporters have suggested.”
After tweeting the claim and attributing it to anonymous sources, NBC reporters later tweeted that Fairfax’s chief of staff said the comment was never made. Kilaru’s letter said “this is not nearly enough. This is not a situation where there are two sides to a story that merit reporting. There is what actually happened, and there is what NBC reporters tweeted this morning.”
NBC reporters did not report why they granted anonymity for their sources to make the claim.
An email to NBC requesting comment was not returned Thursday.