Melania Trump wore black the day after the walkout supporting sexual assault survivors and Christine Blasey Ford

By Maura Hohman
September 28, 2018 04:00 PM
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Melania Trump‘s clothing choices are stirring up controversy once again.

The first lady, 48, was seen wearing a long black dress on Tuesday when she attended her husband’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City.

Observational Twitter users have suggested that the color of her outfit may have honored Monday’s national walkout in support of sexual violence survivors. A spokesperson for Mrs. Trump did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Those participating in the walkout were encouraged to wear all black and post to social media with the hashtag #BelieveSurvivors to show they believe Christine Blasey Ford, the 51-year-old research psychologist and professor who has accused President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, 53, of sexual assault when they were in high school. (Kavanaugh has denied all the sexual misconduct allegations levied against him.)

Melania and Donald Trump
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“Of all the colors to wear at this time…” wrote one user.

“#HerToo?” asked another.

“Maybe it’s just a coincidence… or maybe not,” mused another Twitter user. Indeed, the former model hasn’t shied away from wearing all black in the past.

Mrs. Trump’s clothing last caused this much buzz in June, when she wore a jacket that said “I Don’t Really Care, Do U” on a visit to witness firsthand the crisis immigrant families were facing as children were separated from their parents and held at detention centers on the Mexico-U.S. border.

Melania Trump
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Mrs. Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement at the time, “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe (Much like her high heels last year).”

Her husband, on the other hand, tweeted that it referred “to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!”

Before that, in August 2017, Mrs. Trump was photographed wearing a pair of sky-high heels as she boarded Marine One to travel to Texas to observe Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Critics right away called out how little sense it made to wear heels to an area devastated by a natural disaster.

Melania and Donald Trump
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Debra Messing, Samantha Bee and Kerry Washington were among the celebrities who participated in Monday’s protest by wearing all black and posting on social media with #BelieveSurvivors.

The Facebook description of the event read, “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has bravely come forward and shared her story about her sexual assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Even though Dr. Blasey Ford has repeatedly stated her desire to testify and bravely share her story, Senate Republicans are doing everything they can to shame, bully, and force her to testify under their unacceptable, inappropriate conditions.”

The walkout, subtitled “Moment of Solidarity,” was initially planned as a show of support for Ford but expanded to include Deborah Ramirez, the college classmate of Kavanaugh who alleged that he exposed himself to her during their freshman year at Yale University. Her allegations were first published by The New Yorker on Sunday night. Kavanaugh denied the allegation.

On Wednesday, a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted a sworn affidavit in which Swetnick alleges she was a victim of a “gang rape” where Kavanaugh was present, and that she witnessed efforts by Kavanaugh “to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could be ‘gang raped’ by a train of numerous boys.”

Kavanaugh denied Swetnick’s allegations in a statement on Wednesday, CNBC reported. “This is ridiculous and from The Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” he said.

Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh
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Kavanaugh and Ford both testified in front on Congress on Thursday about an alleged high school party in the 1980s, where, Ford claims, Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. Ford said she was “100 percent” certain Kavanaugh was guilty of sexually assaulting her, but in his fiery and often combative testimony, the judge insisted he was “100 percent certain” he did not.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Friday to send Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the full Senate amid calls for an FBI investigation into Ford’s allegations.

If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).