Christine Blasey Ford accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were in high school.
Following her interview with The Washington Post, Ford was thrust into the spotlight and, like she had feared, her credibility was put on the line.
Now hundreds of women, who went to the same high school as Ford, have come together, extending their support to the Palo Alto university professor.
An open letter from alumnae of Holton-Arms, a private girls’ school in Bethesda, Maryland, stated they believed Ford and that some of them were survivors of abuse themselves.
“We believe Dr. Blasey Ford and are grateful that she came forward to tell her story,” the letter read. “It demands a thorough and independent investigation before the Senate can reasonably vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court.”
The letter has received more than 200 signatures as of now, as it continues to gather more support, said Sarah Burgess, a member of the class of 2005. The alumnae signatories range from the year 1967 to 2018.
One of the more famous signatures was that of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from the class of 1979.
I was class of ‘79 & signed this letter. https://t.co/5ssttu9uzT— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) September 17, 2018
Burgess said the story, in which Ford anonymously detailed her alleged sexual abuse at the hands of the SCOTUS nominee, “felt personal.”
“I know that in the coming days, her story will be scrutinized, and she will be accused of lying,” Burgess said in an email. “However, I grew up hearing stories like hers, and believe her completely.”
The open letter also alleged Ford’s version of the story sounded way too similar to the stories these women had heard and — in some cases — experienced.
When talking The Washington Post, Ford she thought Kavanaugh would “inadvertently kill her” as he held her down with his hand on her mouth to drown her protests.
Ford alleged when Kavanaugh tried pulling her clothing, another one of his classmates, Mark Judge, was present in the room. They played loud music so that any yell for help would not be heard. She managed to escape after the SCOTUS nominee’s friend allegedly jumped on them. Ford and his friend stumbled after her, as she locked herself in the bathroom.
Ford said the incident shook her so much she had to get psychological treatment. She described the altercation as a “rape attempt” to one of her therapists.
“I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years,” Ford told the Post of the alleged assault.
The letter by Ford was first sent to Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents the Bay Area, who sent it to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA). The Democrat informed her colleagues in the Judiciary Committee about its existence but did not share in detail the contents of the letter at the time.
She has now alerted the FBI after several Democrats advised her to do so, while others pushed her to make the contents public. Feinstein, along with other Democrats, want the vote on Kavanaugh to be pushed until a thorough investigation has been conducted into the accusations made by Ford.
However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) yielded to pressure, announcing Kavanaugh and Ford will have the opportunity to publicly testify next week.
“This is the best route forward,” Flake said of the hearing. “Obviously, these are serious charges, and, if they are true, I think they are disqualifying.”
A Justice Department spokesperson said the allegations “does not involve any potential federal crime,” suggesting the FBI will not investigate further into the judge’s record.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts