Who Is Christine Blasey Ford? New Details On The Woman Accusing Brett Kavanaugh Of Sexual Assault

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who is Christine Blasey Ford

This week, a woman accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of forcing himself on her when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh allegedly groped her over her clothing, and attempted to remove her bathing suit and clothes.

While she was originally anonymous, she eventually revealed herself to be a woman named Christine Blasey Ford. She remained anonymous because she feared public attacks on her character as well as retaliation. But when her letter, originally to Rep. Anna Eshoo of the Bay Area, made its way to Senator Dianne Feinstein, she decided to come forward with her identity.

But just who is Christine Blasey Ford and what do we know about her personal life and her brave decision to come forward with her allegations? Here are 13 things to know about Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accuser, how the assault impacted her, and how the Senate will proceed.

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1. She’s a psychologist.

Ford graduated with an undergrad degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and went on to receive her Master’s in psychology from Pepperdine University and a Master’s degree in education from Stanford University. She also has a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Southern California. To say she’s extremely intelligent is a major understatement.

2. She’s also a psychology professor at Palo Alto University.

She teaches graduate students in clinical psychology, specializing in statistical models for research projects. She’s also a visiting professor at Pepperdine University, a professor at Stanford School of Medicine, and a research psychologist for Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry.

3. She’s an accomplished author.

She’s co-authored over 50 scientific publications and books, ranging across a variety of topics, including the cognitive effects of September 11th, acupuncture, gender in relation to childhood abuse and adult depression, and the effects of meditation on depression.

Given her multiple degrees, it’s safe to say she’s an expert in psychology, which is probably why she signed a letter along with other health professionals demanding Trump stop his family separation policy at the US-Mexico border.

4. She’s a Democrat.

Ford told The Washington Post that she is a registered Democrat and has made small monetary contributions to organizations, including $10 to the Democratic National Committee, $5 the ActBlue PAC, $27 to Senator Bernie Sanders, and $35 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

5. She has a family.

Ford married her husband, Russell Ford, in 2002. He is a senior director at Zosano Pharma, and also received a Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Stanford. The couple has two sons.

6. The assault occurred in the summer of 1982.

When Ford was attending a party in the 1980s, she alleges Kavanaugh and one of his classmates were drunk and lured her into a bedroom. Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, “grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it.” When she attempted to scream for help, he put his hand over her mouth. She was 15 at the time, while Kavanaugh was 17.

She was able to escape when his friend, Mark Judge, jumped on top of the two, allowing her to run from the room, briefly lock herself in the bathroom, and then flee the house. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing,” Ford said. She doesn’t remember exact details of the incident, like how she got home or the exact year.

7. She told someone about the assault back in 2012.

While she and her husband were going through couples therapy, she talked about an incident of being pinned down and molested, and her husband recalls his wife using Kavanaugh’s name. The therapist’s notes detailed the attack, saying that Ford was assaulted by “students from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society.”

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8. Rep. Dianne Feinstein sent Ford’s letter to the FBI.

When it was clear that Kavanaugh was being tapped to be Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Ford penned a letter to her Representative Anna Eshoo, who then forwarded it to Senator Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein passed the letter on to the FBI.

In a statement, she said, “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.” Once Ford came forward with her identity, Feinstein said, “I support Mrs. Ford’s decision to share her story and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation.”

The full letter was partially redacted, but read as follows:

Dear Senator Feinstein:

I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court.

As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.

Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980s. He conducted these acts with the assistance of REDACTED. Both were one to two years older than me and students at a local private school. The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.

Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.

Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh's hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.

From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from "go for it" to "stop."

At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stairwell at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home. I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see REDACTED once at the REDACTED where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me.

I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6 I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information. It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.

I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently REDACTED and will be in REDACTED.

In confidence, REDACTED.

9. Ford took a polygraph test.

On the advice of her lawyer, Debra Katz, Ford took a polygraph test which was administered by a former FBI agent. The test took place in July and Ford passed, indicating she was being truthful with her allegations.

10. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

He released a statement saying, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” His friend who was also named in the letter, Mark Judge, issued a statement as well that said, “Now that the anonymous person has been identified and has spoken to the press, I repeat my earlier statement that I have no recollection of any of the events described in today’s Post article or attributed to her letter.”

In an effort to support the nominee, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, instructed his office to publish a letter that was signed by 65 women whom Kavanaugh knew in high school. The letter says he “treated women with respect.” 

11. The assault left Ford with PTSD.

Years after the sexual assault, she began to show signs of symptoms and “had increasing anxiety." Before meeting her husband, she also struggled with relationships with men: “I think it derailed me substantially for four or five years. I was very ill-equipped to forge those kinds of relationships,” she said.

12. She decided to go public because she wanted to be the one to tell her story.

After being approached by reporters, she feared her identity would eventually be exposed and decided to reveal herself to give accurate details, rather than have wrong reporting. “These are all the ills that I was trying to avoid. Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and my terror about retaliation,” she told The Washington Post.

13. Her husband fully supports her decision to come forward.

He says regardless of when the events occurred, it’s important for people to take into consideration what Kavanaugh may have done. He told The Washington Post, “I think you look to judges to be the arbiters of right and wrong. If they don’t have a moral code of their own to determine right from wrong, then that’s a problem. So I think it’s relevant. Supreme Court nominees should be held to a higher standard.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.