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 Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge‘s laughter stands out in her recollections of the alleged attack.
When Sen. Patrick Leahy asked for her strongest memory of the incident, Ford, 51, replied, “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.”
“They were laughing with each other,” she continued. “I was underneath one of them [Kavanaugh] while the two [Kavanaugh and Judge] laughed. Two friends having a really good time with one another.”
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 while Judge was in the room. Both Kavanaugh and Judge have denied the allegations.
Ford returned to her memory of the laughter when Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked, “Can you tell us what you don’t forget about that night?”
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Ford replied, “The stairwell. The living room. The bedroom. The bed on the right side of the room. As you walk into the room there was a bed to the right. The bathroom in close proximity. The laughter, the uproarious laughter. And the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so.”
Ford also discussed Kavanaugh and Judge’s laughter in her opening testimony at the public hearing.
“It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” she said. “Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time.”
After she ran away from the alleged assault, “I ran inside the bathroom and locked the door,” Ford said. “I heard Brett and Mark leave the bedroom laughing and loudly walk down the narrow stairs, pin-balling off the walls on the way down.”
“The details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget,” she said at a different point in the tearful testimony. “They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult.”
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 on Sunday.
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).