Friends, Family: Christine Ford Told Us About Kavanaugh Assault Years Ago
Brett Kavanaugh’s first accuser spoke of a high-school incident, anger at Brock Turner case at Stanford, according to four sworn affidavits given to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Four sworn affidavits by Christine Blasey Ford’s husband and close friends were submitted late Tuesday night to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Ford’s sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh attacked her—trying to take off her clothes, pinning her down, and covering her mouth to silence her cries for help—at a high-school party in the summer of 1982. Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations. Both Kavanaugh and Ford are set to testify under oath Thursday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Committee Chairman Charles Grassley announced late Tuesday that Rachel Mitchell, the sex-crimes bureau chief for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona, will question Kavanaugh at the public hearing. Here are the four:
Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, said in his affidavit that he first heard about his wife’s experience with an assault when they were married in 2002, but that he did not know the details of the alleged incident until a couple’s therapy session about 10 years later.
“She said that in high school she had been trapped in a room and physically restrained by one boy who was molesting her while another boy watched,” Ford wrote in the affidavit. “She said she was eventually able to escape before she was raped, but that her experience was very traumatic because she felt like she had no control and was physically dominated.”
Ford wrote that his wife named Kavanaugh, whom she described at the time as a successful lawyer who grew up with her.
“In the years following the therapy session, we spoke a number of times about how the assault affected her,” he added. “Christine was very conflicted about whether she should speak publicly about what Mr. Kavanaugh had done to her, as she knew it would be emotionally trying for her to relive this traumatic experience in her life and hard on our family to deal with the inevitable public reaction. However, in the end she believed her civic duty required her to speak out.”
Ford described his wife as a “truthful person of great integrity” and said he is proud of her “bravery and courage” for her actions.
Adela Gildo-Mazzon, in another sworn affidavit, wrote that she has been a close friend of Christine Ford for more than 10 years. Gildo-Mazzon said a visibly upset Ford told her about the alleged assault when the two met for lunch in 2013 in Mountain View, California.
“Christine told me she had been having a hard day because she was thinking about an assault she experienced when she was much younger,” Gildo-Mazzon wrote. “She said that she had been almost raped by someone who was now a federal judge. She told me she had been trapped in a room with two drunken guys, and that she then escaped, ran away, and hid. Christine said it was a scary situation and that it has impacted her life ever since.”
A close friend of the Ford family, Keith Koegler, wrote in another sworn affidavit that he has known the couple for more than five years and has spent vacations with them.
Koegler wrote that Ford first told him of the alleged assault after Stanford University student Brock Turner was sentenced for raping an unconscious woman on the nearby Palo Alto school’s campus.
“Christine expressed anger at Mr. Turner’s lenient sentence, stating that she was particularly bothered by it because she was assaulted in high school by a man who was now a federal judge in Washington, D.C.,” Koegler wrote, adding that Ford did not name her assailant until June of this year, after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation from the Supreme Court.
“In all of my dealings with Christine I have known her to be a serious and honorable person,” Koegler wrote.
Rebecca White, a neighbor and longtime friend of the family, wrote in her sworn affidavit that she learned about Ford’s accusation in 2017 after writing a social-media post about her own experience with sexual assault.
“She then told me that when she was a young teen, she had been sexually assaulted by an older teen,” White wrote. “I remember her saying that her assailant was now a federal judge.”
Early this week, another accuser, Deborah Ramirez, came forward in a New Yorker interview with allegations that Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a dormitory party at Yale University and that he had “thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”
Ramirez also called for the FBI to investigate that incident.
Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who famously represents adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her suits against President Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen, also claimed over the weekend that he has taken on a client with “credible evidence” against Kavanaugh.
On Wednesday morning, Avenatti’s client was identified as Julie Swetnick, who accuses Kavanaugh and his cohort of targeting young women in high school with drugs and alcohol, and enabling a “train” of men to gang-rape them. She accuses the Supreme Court nominee of involvement in the gang rapes and of being present at her own rape.
“I observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts,” Swetnick wrote in a declaration. “I likewise observed him be verbally abusive toward girls by making crude sexual comments to them that were designed to demean, humiliate and embarass them.”
A Senate Judiciary Committee staffer is reported to have told the Associated Press that the panel is looking into Swetnick’s claims.