Christine Blasey Ford Holds Back Tears During Her Kavanaugh Testimony

After sitting through partisan opening statements, including a Republican rebuttal of her claims by the committee chairman, Christine Blasey Ford spoke for the first time publicly on Thursday. “I am here today not because I want to be,” she began, her voice shaking. “I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.” She described Kavanaugh as “the boy who sexually assaulted me.” She then detailed the alleged sexual assault, which she said occurred at a house party after she went to the second floor to use the bathroom. Ford said she was pushed into a bedroom, and Kavanaugh and Judge locked the door behind her: “I believed he was going to rape me,” she said, while tearing up. “I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most, and has had the most lasting impact on my life. It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me. Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time. Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.”

She later detailed the trauma that she said followed her throughout her life. “Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life,” she said. “For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details.” She also detailed the moment she disclosed the details of her assault to her therapist and husband during a couples counseling session: “The reason this came up in counseling is that my husband and I had completed an extensive remodel of our home, and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand,” she said. “In explaining why I wanted to have a second front door, I described the assault in detail. I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court and spoke a bit about his background. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh.”