Christine Blasey Ford remained silent when a letter she wrote claiming that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her went public, but now she has decided to open up about the alleged incident.
The California professor spoke to the Washington Post about her claim that Kavanaugh had assaulted her close to 30 years ago when they were high school students in Maryland. Ford had shared her concern in a letter to a Democratic lawmaker and some basic details of the incident have been made public during Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing, but said she felt she needed to tell her story.
Ford is opening up about the incident for the first time, saying it took place at a party when they were both drunk. She said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her over her clothes and then tried to pull off the one-piece bathing suit she was wearing — all in full view of his friends.
Ford said she tried to scream, but Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford said. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford said the incident came to an abrupt end when Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, jumped on top of both of them and sent them to the ground. Ford locked herself alone in a bathroom for a time and then fled the house.
Ford did not tell anyone else about the incident until 2012 when she says she confided in a couples’ therapist about the incident. The therapist confirmed to the Washington Post that Ford had told her about the incident, but did not reveal Kavanaugh’s name.
As CNN noted, the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh have riled the confirmation hearings, with some accusing Democrat Dianne Feinstein of trying to smear the nominee’s character by sharing details of the allegations against him.
This woman is risking everything to do what’s right. Will the right try to ruin her life? https://t.co/tMrpOsgsus— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) September 16, 2018
But others have spoken out against Republicans for trying to push through Kavanaugh’s confirmation without giving proper investigation to the charges. Anita Hill, whose sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 mirrored the recent situation, released a statement standing behind the then-unnamed Ford.
“The reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power,” Hill said (via CNN). “The Senate Judiciary Committee should put in place a process that enables anyone with a complaint of this nature to be heard. I have seen firsthand what happens when such a process is weaponized against an accuser, and no one should have to endure that again.”
Christine Blasey Ford said the incident has stayed with her for more than 30 years, contributing to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder throughout her life.