FILE - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring attends a news conference near the White House, Feb. 26, 2018 in Washington.
FILE - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring attends a news conference near the White House, Feb. 26, 2018 in Washington.

The political crisis in Virginia deepened Wednesday with bombshell charges against two more top leaders with Governor Ralph Northam's career already in jeopardy over a racist photo.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, accompanied by hi
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, accompanied by his wife Pamela Northam, announces he will not resign, during a news conference in Richmond, Virginia, Feb. 2, 2019.

State Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday to smearing his face with brown makeup to impersonate an African-American rapper at a party when he was a 19 year-old university student.

"That conduct clearly shows that as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and sensitivity to the pain my behavior cold inflict on others," he said.

Herring said he is "deeply, deeply sorry," but added that his actions 40 years ago "is in no way reflective of the man I have become."

He said his discussions in the coming days will "make it clear" if he should resign.

Herring had demanded Governor Northam quit after his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced, showing a picture of two men — one in heavy blackface and the other wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.

The governor initially said he was one of the two men, then denied it a day later. But he did admit wearing dark shoe polish on his face to imitate singer Michael Jackson while he was in the Army in 1984.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax speaks to the med
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax speaks to the media in the rotunda at the Capitol in Richmond, Feb. 4, 2019.

Meanwhile, Northam's deputy — Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax — is facing allegations of sexual assault.

Political scientist Vanessa Tyson presented details Wednesday of her charges that Fairfax forced her to give him oral sex in a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Fairfax does not deny a relationship with Tyson, but says he did not force himself on her.

"At no time did she express to me any discomfort or concern about our interactions, neither during that encounter, not during the months following it, when she stayed in touch with me, nor the past 15 years," he said.

Fairfax calls himself a victim of a political smear. But Tyson denies politics has anything to do with it, saying she is a Democrat, like Fairfax.

If all three men are pressured to resign, the Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirkland Cox, would become governor, taking the state leadership away from the Democrats.