The law firm that represented Kavanaugh during his contentious confirmation hearings last fall is representing embattled Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax as he defends himself against allegations of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Fairfax’s accuser, Vanessa Tyson, has hired the same law firm that represented Ford.
“My firm and I were retained by the Lieutenant Governor on January 17, 2018 with respect to a possible story in a media publication and we are currently representing him as well,” Rakesh Kilaru, a partner with Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, told CNN in a statement.
Fairfax’s spokeswoman told reporters that the lieutenant governor had hired the law firm in January 2018 after The Washington Post began investigating Tyson’s allegations – before the Kavanaugh controversy in September. Founding partner Beth Wilkinson represented Kavanaugh during his confirmation.
A source working with Tyson’s legal team, Ford’s former counsel firm Katz Marshall and Banks, tells CNN that Tyson “has retained and is consulting with her legal team about next steps.”
In a statement Wednesday on the firm’s letterhead, Tyson alleged that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him during the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston.
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” Tyson said in a statement. “Mr. Fairfax put his hand behind my neck and forcefully pushed my head towards his crotch. Only then did I realize that he had unbuckled his belt, unzipped his pants, and taken out his penis. He then forced his penis into my mouth.”
Fairfax said Monday that the reports of him committing sexual assault are false and the encounter was “100% consensual.”
The allegations against him first appeared on the conservative website Big League Politics, as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s continuing blackface scandal raised the possibility of Fairfax’s ascendance to the governership.
The Washington Post reported that Tyson had approached the paper in 2017 to report the encounter but that it declined to publish the allegations after failing to find any similar or corroborating complaints against Fairfax.
CNN’s Sophie Tatum and Dana Bash contributed to this report.