The author of a previously confidential letter to Democrats accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school has come forward to publicly detail the allegations.
Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist in California, told The Washington Post, that she decided to speak publicly because her story has become a national controversy without her input or consent as Republicans seek to push Kavanaugh through the nomination process to the nation’s highest court.
Earlier this week, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein issued a cryptic statement saying she had received a confidential letter regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination and had quietly referred the matter to federal investigators. Feinstein issued the statement after a story about the letter appeared in The Intercept.
According to the Post, Ford wrote the letter earlier this summer.
Here’s how the newspaper described what allegedly happened:
Speaking publicly for the first time, 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.
Ford said she was able to get away when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Prep, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them and she locked herself in a bathroom.
After being interviewed for a story about the letter that appeared Friday in The New Yorker, Judge denied in comments to The Weekly Standard that the incident had happened.
“It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way,” Judge said.
The Post points out that Judge is an author and recovering alcoholic who wrote about “his own blackout drinking and a culture of partying among students at his high school.”
Kavanaugh also denied the allegations, saying in a statement shared by the White House and published by the Post and The New York Times that, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation.”
“I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said.
Ford told the Post that she hadn’t told anyone about the incident until it was brought up in a couples therapy session with her husband in 2012. She provided the newspaper with parts of her therapist’s notes.
Ford continued to have therapy due to what was described as the long-term effects of a “rape attempt” when she was a teenager, the newspaper said. Her husband, Russell Ford, confirmed her recounting of the sessions.
Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, has been in contact with The Washington Post since last July, the report said. She also contacted Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo at the time, and sent the letter in question to Feinstein via Eshoo’s office.
On the advice of an attorney, Ford took and passed a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent in August, the Post said.
“For weeks, Ford declined to speak to The Post on the record as she grappled with concerns about what going public would mean for her and her family — and what she said was her duty as a citizen to tell the story,” the newspaper noted.
She eventually decided to go public as much of her story already has been published, and at least one reporter has visited her at home and at work. Others have continuously called her.