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Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward in accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, now has four confirmed people corroborating her claims ahead of Thursday’s Senate hearing. She has alleged that Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her at a high-school party in the early ’80s, where he pinned her down, groped her, tried to remove her clothing, and put his hand over her mouth to muffle her screams — actions that her lawyer considers attempted rape.
In documents sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by USA Today, Ford’s attorneys showed signed declarations from Ford’s husband and three friends issuing their support for her allegation. These will all be used at Thursday’s testimony, which will help determine whether Kavanaugh will be confirmed to serve a life-long term on the Supreme Court.
In one declaration, Adela Gildo-Mazzon — who has known Ford over ten years and calls her a “good friend” — says Ford told her about the alleged assault in June 2013, at a restaurant in Mountain View, California. She contacted Ford’s lawyers on September 16.
“During our meal, Christine was visibly upset, so I asked her what was going on,” Gildo-Mazzon wrote in the declaration. “Christine told me she had been having a hard day because she was thinking about an assault she experienced when she was much younger. She said 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 had escaped, ran away and hid.”
In another declaration, Ford’s friend Keith Koegler said she had discussed the assault with him in 2016, during a conversation about Brock Turner, the Stanford student who was convicted of raping an unconscious woman.
“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 said. “Christine did not mention the assault to me again until June 29, 2018, two days after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation from the Supreme Court of the United States,” he said.
That same day, Ford allegedly sent Koegler an email, saying that the man who had assaulted her is Trump’s “favorite for SCOTUS.” He emailed back, saying, “I remember you telling me about him, but I don’t remember his name. Do you mind telling me so I can read about him?” Ford’s response: “Brett Kavanaugh.”
In the third declaration, a friend, Rebecca White — a neighbor who has known the Fords for over six years — said Ford discussed the alleged assault in 2017.
“I was walking my dog and Christine was outside of her house,” White said. “I stopped to speak with her, and she told me she had read a recent social media post I had written about my 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. I remember her saying that her assailant was now a federal judge.”
Christine’s husband, Russell Ford, issued a statement saying he learned of Christine’s assault “around the time we got married,” but that she didn’t share details until about ten years later, at a couple’s therapy session in 2012.
“I remember her saying that her attacker’s name was Brett Kavanaugh, that he was a successful lawyer who had grown up in Christine’s hometown, and that he was well-known in the Washington D.C. community,” Ford said. He wrote that his wife withheld information from the public because she was “afraid” Trump would nominate Kavanaugh, and that she was “conflicted” about coming forward.
“However, in the end she believed her civic duty required her to speak out,” he said. “In our 16 years of marriage, I have always known Christine to be a truthful person of great integrity. I am proud of her for her bravery and courage.”