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Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax looks at a document in the Virginia Senate July 9 during the special session to deal with gun violence.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed a $400 million defamation lawsuit Thursday against CBS Corp. and CBS Broadcasting in New York, alleging the network published false statements by two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

"Fairfax brings this action to restore his reputation and clear his name, ensure the truth prevails, stop the weaponization of false allegations of sexual assault against him, and vindicate his rights under civil law," the lawsuit said.

Vanessa Tyson, a college professor, has accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in a Boston hotel room in 2004. Meredith Watson has accused Fairfax of raping her while the two were students at Duke University in 2000.

They made their allegations public - and later did interviews with CBS - in February, at a time when Gov. Ralph Northam faced intense pressure to resign over a scandal related to a racist photo on his page in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

Northam did not resign, but if he had, Fairfax would have become governor.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia's Eastern District.

This is a developing story.

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