- Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in the summer of 1982.
- Ford has named three other people she says were at the high school party when she was assaulted, including one who she claims was in the room.
- All three have denied recollection of such a party. Here’s what they have said.
- Follow live updates from Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony here.
Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee surrounding her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a Maryland house party in the summer of 1982, when he was 17 years old and she 15.
Aside from Kavanaugh himself, Ford has named three other people she says were at the party during the alleged incident – one of whom she claims was in the room and a witness to the assault.
All three have denied any recollection of being at such a party or knowing of an any alleged assault by Kavanaugh, but none have been called to testify in the confirmation hearings.
During Kavanaugh’s opening statement to the committee, he emphasised their denials, made to the Judiciary Committee under penalty of perjury, as proof of his innocence.
“There were four boys I remember being there: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth, and one other boy whose name I cannot recall,” Ford said in her prepared remarks. “I remember my friend Leland Ingham attending.”
Here are the people Ford says were at the party, and what we know about them:
In her testimony before the Judiciary Committee and in multiple letters Ford and her attorneys have sent to members of Congress and the committee, Ford accuses Kavanaugh of attacking her.
She specifically described walking up the stairs to go to the bathroom, only for Kavanaugh and Judge to push into a bedroom and lock the door behind her. She accuses Kavanaugh of pushing her onto the bed and attempting to remove her bathing suit and rape her while putting his hand over his mouth to stop her from crying out for help.
Ford says she was able to escape when Judge jumped on top of them, toppling them over and allowing her to escape and leave the situation.
In the decades since, she recalls only telling her therapist, her husband, and a number of close friends that she had experienced a sexual assault in high school, sometimes saying her attacker was a prominent judge and lawyer, but never identifying him by name until this June, when he was rumoured to be nominated to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh himself has vehemently denied Ford’s allegations. “I had never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever,” he told Fox News’ Martha MacCullum on Monday. “I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect.”
He echoed those words in a defiant, emotional opening statement on Thursday, slamming the confirmation process as “a national disgrace”.
“My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false accusations,” he said. “I know that any kind of investigation … will clear me.”
Kavanaugh also denied being at such a party.
Ford remembers Mark Judge, a close high school friend of Kavanaugh’s, being in the room during the alleged assault. She specifically recalls him as blasting music and laughing with Kavanaugh during the alleged attack.
“A couple times I made eye contact with Mark [Judge], thinking he would help me, but he did not,” Ford recounted during questioning.
Ford also recalled encountering Judge several weeks after the alleged attack at the Potomac Village Safeway. “I said hello to him and his face was white and very uncomfortable saying hello back,” she recalled in the hearing. “He was just nervous and not really wanting to speak with me. He looked a little bit ill.”
Christine Blasey Ford on what she hasn't forgotten from the night of the alleged assault: "The laughter. The uproarious laughter. And the multiple attempts to escape." pic.twitter.com/l0otG22qRw
— Axios (@axios) September 27, 2018
In a statement sent from his lawyers to the Judiciary Committee, Judge denied that the alleged incident occurred and has not responded to calls from Democrats compelling him to testify under oath. They say that without Judge’s testimony, the case would remain a “he-said, she-said” matter.
“I have no memory of the alleged incident,” he wrote. “Brett and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter.”
He continued: “I have no more information to offer the Committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford’s letter.”
Kavanaugh and Judge both went to Georgetown Prep, an elite, all-boys high school in the Washington, DC, area. Kavanaugh said during the hearing the two were friends since ninth grade, and described Judge as a “popular”, “funny guy” with a “serious addiction problem.”
Years after high school, Judge wrote a memoir, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk.” It chronicled his struggles with alcoholism while a teenager, painting his days at Georgetown Prep as filled with parties and black-out drunk nights.
Judge changed names in the book to protect people’s privacy, but he at one point referenced a friend named “Bart O’Kavanaugh.” The character was described as someone who got so drunk he “puked in someone’s car the other night.”
Judge, an author, filmmaker, and journalist, has also floated some controversial ideas and opinions in his writings.
In 1983, for example, one of Judge’s high school yearbook quotes read: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.”
Patrick James ‘PJ’ Smyth
Ford has named Smyth, one of Kavanaugh’s classmates in the Georgetown Prep class of 1983, as one of the people present at the alleged gathering. During her testimony, she made it clear he was not a bystander to the alleged attack itself, just an alleged attendant at the party.
Smyth denied having attended such a party or knowing of any alleged assault by Kavanaugh.
“I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh,” Smyth wrote in a statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee by his lawyers.
Smyth had also signed his name onto a letter stating that Kavanaugh “is singularly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court” along with several other Georgetown Prep alums.
During the hearing, Kavanaugh said he and Smyth were neighbours who carpooled together and played on the football team.
Leland Ingham Keyser
Ford recalled that her friend, Leland Keyser (maiden name Ingham), was downstairs at the party during the alleged incident, but that she did not discuss it with Keyser after it happened.
Keyser, a long-time friend of Ford’s, denied having attended such a party like the one Ford described after being contacted by staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” her attorney Howard Walsh wrote in a statement sent to the committee.
“Leland has significant health challenges, and let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes,” Ford said during the hearing.
She added: “Leland would not remember this unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties, because nothing remarkable happened to them that evening.”
Kavanaugh said during the hearing that he knew of Keyser, and that that they crossed paths in high school.
Read Business Insider’s full coverage of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing:
- Watch live updates of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing here
- ‘I am terrified’: Ford details her sexual-assault allegation in gut-wrenching opening statement
- Kavanaugh delivers fiery, emotional opening remarks, claims his life has been ‘totally and permanently destroyed’
- Ford says the strongest memory she has of Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault was ‘the uproarious laughter’
- Ford says she decided to come forward after reporters were sitting outside of her house and showing up in her classroom where she taught
- Kavanaugh chokes up during Senate testimony describing how his 10-year-old daughter wanted to pray for Ford
- Here is the polygraph test Ford took following her sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh
- Here are all the allegations against Kavanaugh
- How the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing compares to the 1991 Anita Hill hearing
- Meet Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high-school friend and the other man who’s becoming central to the allegations
- Meet Rachel Mitchell, the woman questioning Ford about her Kavanaugh allegations
- Meet Brett Kavanaugh, ‘the Forrest Gump of Republican politics’
John Haltiwanger contributed reporting.
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