Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Over the weekend, the woman behind a confidential letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.) accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault more than three decades ago when they were high school students, decided to put her name to her story and has come forward for the first time to tell that story herself.
Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist in northern California, spoke to the Washington Post detailing what happened to her one summer in the early 1980s, when Kavanaugh and a friend, both of whom were “stumbling drunk” according to Ford, trapped her in a room while Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her through her clothing and attempted to undress her. Ford said that when she tried to scream for help, Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth to silence her.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford, now 51, revealed. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
She was ultimately able to escape when the friend, identified as Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Preparatory School classmate Mark Judge, jumped on top of the pair, sending all three of them tumbling down. Ford ran from the room, locked herself in the bathroom before ultimately running from the house where the group of teens had gathered for a party.
Ford did not relate in detail what happened to her until 2012 when she was in couple’s therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, which were provided by Ford and reviewed by the Post, do not mention Kavanaugh by name but note that Ford was attacked by students from “an elitist boys’ school,” who are now “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.”
The notes from the therapist claims that four boys were involved, but Ford says that was an error by the therapist, saying that there were four boys at the party.
Kavanaugh has routinely denied the allegations since they first surfaced, saying, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” He declined to comment further on Ford’s allegations and declined to say whether he knew her during high school, the Post notes.
Ford, who is also a professor at Palo Alto University who teaches in a consortium with Stanford University, started telling her story, confidentially, when she realized that Kavanaugh was on the shortlist of possible nominees to fill the seat left by retiring justice Anthony Kennedy.
She reached out to her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) in early July with her story. In late July she sent a letter through Eshoo’s office to Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Initially, Ford intended for her story to be kept confidential, and declined to speak on record as she was concerned about what going public would mean for her and her family.
Ford reached out to well-known D.C. attorney Debra Katz, who encouraged her to take a polygraph test which was administered by a former FBI agent in early August. That test concluded that Ford was being truthful.
However by late August, she decided she would not go public, thinking that the revelations would cause chaos in her own life, while not affecting Kavanaugh’s pending confirmation.
“Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” she said.
By now, we all know that the story was leaked anyway Ford feared her identity being discovered and then began to hear people repeating inaccurate details about her. So she changed her mind.
“These are all the ills that I was trying to avoid,” she said, explaining why she decided to come forward. “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation.”
Ford acknowledges that after so many years she does not recall some of the details of the alleged attack. She believes it occurred din the summer of 1982 when she was 15. Kavanaugh, in that case, would have been 17.
The Post notes:
Ford said that on the night of the party, she left the family room to use the bathroom, which was at the top of a narrow stairway. She doesn’t remember whether Kavanaugh and Judge were behind her or already upstairs, but she remembers being pushed into a bedroom and then onto a bed. Rock-and-roll music was playing with the volume turned up high, she said.
She alleges that Kavanaugh — who played football and basketball at Georgetown Prep — held her down with the weight of his body and fumbled with her clothes, seemingly hindered by his intoxication. Judge stood across the room, she said, and both boys were laughing “maniacally.” She said she yelled, hoping that someone downstairs would hear her over the music, and Kavanaugh clapped his hand over her mouth to silence her.
Ford has not spoken to Kavanaugh since the incident, and had told no one at the time what happened to her.
“My biggest fear was, do I look like someone just attacked me?” she said.
She added that she remembered thinking, “I’m not ever telling anyone this. This is nothing, it didn’t happen, and he didn’t rape me.”
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