As Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, she said that it was a disagreement with her husband over home renovations that led her to confront her memories of the alleged incident.
Ford, 51, said in her opening statement at the public hearing, “I had never told the details to anyone until May 2012, during a couple’s counseling session. The reason this came up in counseling is that my husband [Russell Ford] and I had completed an extensive remodel of our home, and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand.”
She continued, “In explaining why I wanted to have a second front door, I described the assault in detail. I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court and spoke a bit about his background. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh.”
Ford, a research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, claims that Kavanaugh, 53, sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s, where he allegedly pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Ford described the lingering effects of the alleged attack as Sen. Dianne Feinstein questioned her. “Anxiety, phobia and PTSD-like symptoms are the types of things that I’ve been coping with,” Ford said. “More specially, claustrophobia, panic and that type of thing.”
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“Is that the reason for the second front door? Claustrophobia?” Feinstein asked.
“Correct,” Ford replied.
Adding that the house now has a second front door, Ford noted, “Our house does not look aesthetically pleasing from the curb.”
A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of committing sexual misconduct when they were freshmen at Yale. Ramirez, 53, said that Kavanaugh “exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” The New Yorker reported.
A third accuser, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct on Wednesday.
Kavanaugh has denied all allegations. “This is ridiculous and from The Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” he said in response to Swetnick’s assertion, according to CNBC.
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).