The woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct broke her silence for the first time in an interview with the Washington Post published Sunday.
What are the details?
Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old professor who teaches clinical psychology at Palo Alto University, described an incident she alleges happened during a small house party in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the summer of 1982.
Ford said an intoxicated 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," according to the Post.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me," Ford said. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing."
Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Judge, jumped on the bed, sending all three tumbling. She said she locked herself in a bathroom until she heard the two boys leave. She then left the house, but does not remember how she returned home. She told the Post the alleged attack left her terrified, but she vowed to herself at the time that she would not tell anyone what had happened.
At the time, she feared what her parents would say if they knew she had been at a party where there was alcohol. Ford was 15 at the time. Kavanaugh was 17.
"My biggest fear was, do I look like someone just attacked me?” Ford said, adding that she recalled thinking: “I’m not ever telling anyone this. This is nothing, it didn’t happen, and he didn’t rape me."
More from the Post:
Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name 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.
Ford said she believes the incident is responsible for her anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
On the advice of her lawyer, Washington attorney Debra Katz, Ford took a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent in early August. Katz said the lie-detector test was necessary because she would be attacked as a liar if she ever went public with her allegations. According to the Post, Ford passed the test.
Ford initially sought to keep her identity private. But as the media pressed the matter further, even showing up at her place of employment, Ford said she knew the can of worms had been opened — and there was no way it would be closed ever again.
"These are all the ills that I was trying to avoid," she said. "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation."
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday the FBI should conduct a thorough investigation before the Senate votes on Kavanaugh's confirmation.
"I support Mrs. Ford’s decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee," Feinstein said.