Warning: This article contains details of sexual assault.
As if there weren’t plenty of reasons to have doubts about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, in a new interview with the Washington Post, a California professor has gone public with sexual assault accusations against Trump’s judicial pick.
Christine Blasey Ford previously sent a confidential letter to Representative Anna Eshoo that made its way to California's Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, back in July. Now the 51-year-old research psychologist has decided to reveal her identity following Kavanaugh’s Senate hearings earlier this month.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told the Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford alleges Kavanaugh attacked her more than 30 years ago, while they were teens the 1980s. At a party with another student in Montgomery County, the judge and another friend pressured Ford into a bedroom, where Kavanaugh pinned her down and groped her while the other person watched. He also allegedly attempted to take off her clothing and covered her mouth as she tried to scream for help.
Another classmate then entered the room and jumped on top of Kavanaugh and Ford, allowing her the opportunity to escape and lock herself in a bathroom before leaving the house. Ford believes she was around the age of 15 at the time, while Kavanaugh was 17.
Ford told the Washington Post she didn't talk about the incident until 2012, when she was in therapy with her husband. Therapist’s notes given to the publication indicate she discussed being attacked by teens from “from an elitist boys’ school” who became “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington,” though the notes didn’t mention Kavanaugh’s name specifically.
Notes given to the paper from a separate, individual therapy session also describe an attempted rape in Ford’s late teens. Her husband claims she used Kavanaugh’s last name in the 2012 session. Ford also passed a lie detector test administered to her by a former FBI agent in August about the assault.
Whether or not this account will affect the votes on Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court remains to be seen. Before Ford revealed her identity, the nominee issued a statement saying, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
Ford explained that she decided to come forward despite her anxiety and post-traumatic stress, saying “I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation."