Brett Kavanaugh knows the truth of alleged sexual abuse, Christine Blasey Ford says in book

By | March 13, 2024

US judge Brett Kavanaugh is not a “completely honest person” and “needs to know” what really happened on the night more than forty years ago when he allegedly sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser writes in a long-awaited memoir.

Related: The US Supreme Court could still influence the election for Trump | Laurens Douglas

Ford, a research psychologist from Northern California, was thrust into the spotlight in September 2018 when Kavanaugh, a Bush aide turned federal judge, became Donald Trump’s second nominee to the conservative court. Her accusations nearly derailed Kavanaugh’s nomination and made headlines around the world.

Ford’s memoir, One Way Back, will be published next week. The Guardian has obtained a copy.

“The fact is that he was in the room with me that night in 1982,” Ford wrote. “And I believe he knows what happened. Even if it’s blurry from the alcohol, I think he needs to know.

“When he categorically denied my allegations, as well as all the bad behavior from his past, during a Fox News interview, I felt more certain than ever that after my experience with him, he had not become the completely honest person befitting a Supreme Court. justice.”

Kavanaugh’s nomination became embroiled in controversy after a Washington Post interview in which Ford said Kavanaugh, while drunk, sexually assaulted her at a party in Montgomery County, Maryland, when they were both in high school.

“I thought he was going to accidentally kill me,” Ford, then 51, told the Post. “He tried to attack me and take off my clothes.”

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the accusation, fueling resentment in the hearing room not seen since the verdict was confirmed in 1991. Clarence Thomasa right-winger accused of sexually harassing a colleague, Anita Hill.

Backed by Republicans and Trump, Kavanaugh rode out the storm to join Thomas on the field. Trump would later add another conservative, Amy Coney Barrett, tilting the court 6-3 to the right. That court has since made important right-wing rulings, most notably striking down the federal right to abortion.

In her book, Ford said she thought Kavanaugh “might resign to avoid subjecting his family to investigation or further investigation,” adding that she wanted to tell him to “save us both the trouble,” because “I don’t want this as much as you don’t want this”.

She was asked, she says, what she would have done if Kavanaugh had “reached out and apologized.”

She writes: “Who would he apologize to – me? The country? What would he apologize for that night? The intimidation [of Ford by Trump supporters] around the testimony?

“The only thing I can guess is that if he had come to me and really aligned with me and said, ‘I don’t remember this happening, but it could have happened, and it I’m so sorry’, that it might be an important, therapeutic moment for survivors in general… I may have faltered a bit. I might have thought, “You know what, he was an asshole in high school, but now he’s not.”

“But when my story came out and he flatly denied any possibility of anything I said, it eased my guilt a bit. For me, the question of whether he had changed was answered. All doubts about whether he was a good person disappeared.’

Ford says she decided to endure the difficulties of coming forward — meeting Democratic senators who opposed Kavanaugh, questioning Republicans who supported him and becoming famous herself — because of the court’s importance.

She writes, “Honestly, if it weren’t for the Supreme Court—for example, if my attacker had run for local office—I probably wouldn’t have said anything.

Ford calls this “a sad and frightening thing to admit,” adding, “But this was a job at one of our most respected institutions, one that we have historically held in high esteem. I learned that at school.”

Saying she “thought and acted according to principles,” she adds: “I had the impression (delusions?) that almost everyone was looking at it from the same perspective.

‘Wasn’t it indisputable that a Supreme Court judge should meet the highest standard? A presidency you could win, but to be a Supreme Court justice you had to live up to your perfection. These nine people make decisions that affect everyone in the country. I felt the application process should be as thorough as possible, and perhaps I could be a (non)reference letter.”

Ford also describes occasions when she discussed the alleged assault as Kavanaugh rose to fame. In addition to therapy conversations reported by the Post, she also cites others sparked by high-profile events.

Such moments, Ford says, included the 1991 Thomas hearings, in which Hill was brutally questioned by senators from both parties; a 2016 criminal case in which a Stanford swimmer was convicted of sexual assault but given a light sentence; and the 2017 #MeToo movement, in which women’s stories of sexual violence led to condemnations of prominent men.

After Kavanaugh was mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee, Ford contacted Democratic California congresswoman Anna Eshoo and the Post. She may have accidentally leaked her identity, she writes, by contacting a tip line from her own phone. Either way, she soon found herself at the center of a political hurricane.

Related: Anita Hill on sexual harassment and survival: ‘You have to think: What is my life for?’

“I never wanted it [Kavanaugh’s] family,” Ford writes, adding: “When my accusations became public, the media began reporting that he was receiving threats. It cost me a lot of effort.

“Then I remembered that I had already had to move to a hotel because of the threats against me and my family. Over and over I thought, ‘Why is he putting us through all this? Why can’t he call those people back? Say something – anything – to condemn the intimidation on both sides?”

Kavanaugh, she writes, was at the mercy of right-wing interests pushing for his confirmation. Ultimately, she says, he should have expected “a thorough review of it.” [his] all of history to be part of the ‘becoming of justice’.

“If you can’t handle that,” Ford writes, “then you may not be qualified for the job.”

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