Former basketball star Corey Maggette, who is now an analyst for Fox Sports West, did not appear as scheduled on last night’s LA Clippers telecast after a report linked him to a 1999 rape involving the accuser of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
A lawyer for Fairfax’s accuser, Meredith Watson, issued a statement last week saying that a basketball player had raped her while both were students at Duke. The university said it was opening an investigation into the matter, but the player was not named. A report by the New York Times named Maggette as the player in question.
Watson has also alleged that Fairfax sexually assaulted her on campus at Duke in 2000, when they were students. The Times report, citing a Facebook message from Watson, said she did not report the alleged Fairfax assault after being discouraged by university officials from pursuing the claim against Maggette.
According to a FanSided-affiliated Twitter account devoted to the Clippers, play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler told viewers his scheduled on-air partner was attending to a “personal matter” and would be replaced by Mike Hill.
“Fox Sports takes allegations of misconduct seriously, and we are looking into the matter. We have no further comment at this time,” a spokeswoman from Fox Sports West told Deadline in a statement.
Maggette issued a statement to the Times strongly denying Watson’s allegation. “It has only been through media accounts and a statement from Meredith Watson’s lawyer that I first learned or heard of anything about these sexual assault allegations,” the statement said. “I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge.”
Multiple sexual assault allegations against Fairfax have added to a storm of controversy in Virginia after the state’s governor, Ralph Northam, and other public officials have admitted to wearing blackface.