Tonight, embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh went on Fox News to defend himself against allegations that he sexually assaulted two women as a teenager and college student. During the interview, the judge went further than just denying their accusations—he also denied knowledge of a culture of misogyny or misbehavior at his elite private high school, Georgetown Prep.
When Fox News host Martha MacCallum asked Kavanaugh whether he’d heard of any of his classmates engaging in nonconsensual, or even consensual sex with women at parties, he strongly denied it. Instead, he represented his high school years as entirely virtuous. “I certainly never participated in any such thing—but I never saw or heard of any such thing...I was focused on trying to be number one in my class and being captain of the varsity basketball team and doing service projects, going to church,” he said.
But a new report from the New York Times that claims Kavanaugh and friends wrote sexually suggestive notes in their yearbook suggests a less innocent reality. The Times reports that Georgetown Prep’s 1983 yearbook, featuring captions and individual pages written by students, contains references to Renate Schroeder Dolphin, a female student at a neighboring Catholic girls school.
From the Times:
The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.
Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.
“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” said Sean Hagan, a Georgetown Prep student at the time, referring to Judge Kavanaugh and his teammates. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”
In the Fox News interview, Kavanaugh claimed that he was a virgin in high school, and remained one for “many years” after.
The yearbook also makes reference to Kavanaugh’s drinking in high school. His yearbook page includes a reference to “100 kegs or bust,” and calls him the “treasurer” of the “Keg City Club.” Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault in high school, described him as being very drunk at the time of the attack. Deborah Ramirez, who accused him of exposing himself to her in college, reported the same.
Earlier this month, Dolphin was one of 65 women who signed a letter attesting to knowing Kavanaugh in high school, supporting his nomination and their belief in his good behavior. Now, Dolphin says she was unaware of the jokes Kavanaugh and others made about her when she signed the letter.
“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Dolphin told the Times. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”
Alexandra Walsh, a lawyer for Kavanaugh, responded:
“Judge Kavanaugh was friends with Renate Dolphin in high school. He admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.
“Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Dolphin attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event,” the statement continued. “They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else.”
Dolphin denies that she ever kissed Kavanaugh. “I think Brett must have me confused with someone else, because I never kissed him,” she said.
According to the Times, the yearbook also contains references to the KKK, but not on Kavanaugh’s page.
“These guys weren’t any different than other boys high schools across the country,” Suzanne Matan, a friend of Kavanaugh’s from high school, told the Times. “And I chose to hang out with those boys and many other girls did, too, because they were fun, and they were safe, and they were respectful.”
Kavanaugh’s classmates pictured in the football photo also say that the references to Dolphin were innocent. But others dispute this framing. “Those guys weren’t big on crushes,” William Fishburne, another member of Kavanaugh’s graduating class told the Times. “I think they felt that if a girl didn’t want to date them, then they must be gay. I’m serious.”
Read the full report at the New York Times.