The two undergrads were "friends" at Duke but did not date or see each other romantically, according to Watson's lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith.
Virginia's House Democrats have followed the state's Legislative Black Caucus in not calling for resignations of the lieutenant governor or attorney general after insisting that the governor must go. McAuliffe seconded the sentiment in a tweet.
"Much of the discussion has, rightfully, centered around who we are as Democrats as we continue to stand against racism and against sexual assault. I have never forced myself on anyone ever", his statement reads.
But that momentum abruptly stopped last week with the disclosure of a picture from Northam's medical school yearbook showing one young man in blackface and another in Klan regalia.
Gov. Justin Fairfax denied the second allegation of sexual misconduct levied against him Friday evening, and also announced that he has no intention of resigning.
Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment was the managing editor of Virginia Military Institute's 1968 yearbook, which includes photos of students wearing blackface and people holding Confederate flags. Given her experience with abuse as a child, he said, she was not the type of person to become intimate in the way she described with someone she had just met.
Virginia's two US senators and seven Democratic congressmen released a joint statement saying the sexual assault accusation must be investigated, and Herring must continue to have "in-depth discussions" if he is to regain the public's trust. A former boyfriend of Tyson's says, in essence, that she would not consensually have performed the act Fairfax admits she performed on him - oral sex. Fairfax had previously denied the claim, saying the encounter was consensual.
By the way, as Ed noted earlier, all three of the stooges at the top of Virginia's government look likely to survive now.
Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a 39-year-old African-American, has meanwhile been accused of forcing himself sexually on a woman 14 years ago.
Northam immediately apologized for appearing in the photograph, saying he could not "undo the harm my behavior caused then and today". The governor said at that event that he would not resign unless he decided he wouldn't be able to govern effectively.
The top three Democrats in Virginia's state government are now contending with various controversies, including Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring admitting to having worn blackface in the 1980s.
Although the Democratic Party has taken nearly a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly: If all three Democrats resign, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.