The woman who wrote a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) accusing President Trump’s latest nominee to the Supreme Court of sexual assault when they were in high school has decided to shed her anonymity and step into the public limelight.
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Christine Blasey Ford, now a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University, was a teenage girl in suburban Maryland when the incident took place, according to an account in The Washington Post.
She decided to come forward to claim ownership of the narrative after incomplete details of the story dripped out in the wake of Senator Feinstein’s announcement on Wednesday that she had received a letter detailing the assault from someone who wanted to remain anonymous and had forwarded it to the Justice Department for investigation.
After seeing the story leak, Professor Ford decided that she should be the one to tell it. She gave The Washington Post a detailed account of what happened that summer night more than three decades ago.
“Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both ‘stumbling drunk,’ Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.”
“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.”
Professor Ford said that she only managed to escape after Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Prep, Mark Judge, joined the pile and sent all three of them tumbling. She quickly fled the room and locked herself in a bathroom before fleeing the house.
She says she told no one about the incident until she went to couples therapy with her husband in 2012 and provided the newspaper with portions of their therapist’s notes from the visit in which she discussed what happened.
The notes do not mention Kavanaugh by name, according to the account:
“but say she reported that she was attacked by students ‘from an elitist boys’ school’ who went on to become ‘highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.’ The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.”
“Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a ‘rape attempt’ in her late teens.”
The newspaper reports that the White House’s only response to the now public accusation against its nominee was to forward a copy of the statement that Kavanaugh made last week after the reports of the allegations first started coming to light.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh claims.
The Washington Post contacted Mark Judge the man who was allegedly in the room with Kavanaugh and Ford during the assault, but he declined to comment. Judge has previously denied that the accusations are true.
“It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,” Judge told The Weekly Standard on Friday.
However, despite allegations that Ford’s accusations were a last ditch attempt by Democrats to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, the newspaper revealed that the professor had contacted them through a tip line at the beginning of the summer when Kavanaugh’s name turned up on short lists of possible nominees. She even hired a Washington DC-based lawyer who specializes in sexual harassment cases.
The lawyer, Debra Katz, knew that Ford’s credibility would be questioned, so she had the professor take a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent. The results, which the newspaper confirmed, showed that “Ford was being truthful when she said a statement summarizing her allegations was accurate.”
Ford’s decision to go public came as she began to fear that her anonymity was about to be exposed anyway after a Buzzfeed reporter tried to speak with her as she was leaving her classroom. She says that the incident with Kavanaugh has had a lasting traumatic affect on her life.
“’I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years,’ she said. She said she struggled academically and socially and was unable to have healthy relationships with men. ‘I was very ill-equipped to forge those kinds of relationships.'”
“She also said she believes that in the longer term, it contributed to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms with which she has struggled.”
Ford’s husband, Russell, denies the claims that some of Kavanaghs defenders have made that his behavior in high school has little bearing on his suitability for a seat on the Supreme Court.
“’I think you look to judges to be the arbiters of right and wrong,’ Russell Ford said. ‘If they don’t have a moral code of their own to determine right from wrong, then that’s a problem. So I think it’s relevant. Supreme Court nominees should be held to a higher standard.’”
Now that Kavanaugh’s accuser has come forward, it remains to be seen if the Republican juggernaut trying to confirm his nomination before the midterm elections potentially change the balance of power in the Senate can be stopped by the accusations that now have a face—and a polygraph test—to confirm them.
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