On Sunday, the woman at the center of stunning claims, accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, spoke out publicly about her allegations for the first time.
The woman, Christine Blasey Ford, provided her account of the incident to The Washington Post, days after details of her letter leaked. According to the report, she sent the letter in late July. It was only last Wednesday that The Intercept reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was in possession of a letter describing this incident, which she’d withheld from her colleagues. It was subsequently reported that Feinstein had taken the letter to the FBI. On Friday, The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer published a more extensive report on the allegations, their harrowing details, and the impact these revelations were having on Capitol Hill.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
According to the Post’s report, Ford (who goes by the name “Blasey” professionally) first came to the paper after Kavanaugh had been shortlisted for a Supreme Court nomination earlier this year, but she did not want to speak on the record. At that time, according to the Post, her decision to not speak publicly about the incident was informed primarily by a sense of frustration — she didn’t want to upend her life knowing it would not likely affect his confirmation.
“Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” she reportedly said.
But her calculus changed after the letter leaked.
Ford told the Washington Post that she was in attendance at a party in the early 1980s — she is unsure what year — where Kavanaugh and a friend “corralled her into a bedroom.”
Per the Post:
While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford says that she was only able to escape after Kavanaugh’s friend “jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling,” at which point she “ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.” The friend in question, Mark Judge, did not respond to the Post’s requests for comment, but in an interview with The Weekly Standard before his name was known, he denied knowing anything about the allegation.
Ford, who works as a clinical psychology professor in California, did not tell anyone about the alleged incident until 2012, when she disclosed the matter during a therapy session with her husband. The Post reports that a review of the therapist’s notes do not use Kavanaugh’s name, but do mention that Ford has been attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who subsequently went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.”
In an interview with the Post, Ford’s husband, Russell, said his wife, in those therapy sessions, recalled “being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming.” He further “recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.”