One of Brett Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates has come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, claiming he thrust his penis in her face during a party in the 80s. Here’s everything to know.
Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated for the Supreme Court by Donald Trump in July, has been accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman, Deborah Ramirez. The 53-year-old opened up about Kavanaugh’s alleged inappropriate behavior in an interview with Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker. Deborah attended Yale University with Kavanaugh, and cited an incident from the 1983-1984 school year, during which he allegedly “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.” She admitted to being intoxicated during the alleged incident, and was at first weary of coming forward because of gaps in her memory. However, after “assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” she was certain enough in her recollections of the alleged incident to come forward. Here’s everything to know about Deborah:
1) Why did she stay quiet for so long? Deborah admitted to Ronan in The New Yorker piece that, before coming forward with her allegations, she was blaming herself for drinking too much at the party in question. “It was a story that was known, but it was a story that i was embarrassed about,” she admitted. “[But] even if I did drink too much, any person observing it, would they want their daughter, their granddaughter, with a penis in their face, while they’re drinking that much? I can’t say that at 53, but when I was 19 or 20, I was vulnerable. I didn’t know better.” Deborah also revealed that she didn’t come forward right away when she heard accusations from Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, because she feared she would be discredited due to her intoxicated state at the time of the alleged incident.
2) What is her account of what happened? Deborah said she and Kavanaugh both attended a women’s soccer team dorm room party while freshmen at Yale. She claimed she got extremely inebriated while playing a drinking game, when a male exposed his penis to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she recalled. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She allegedly pushed the person away, touching his penis in the process — something she wasn’t planning on doing until she was married. Deborah said she is confident that she can recall Brett laughing as he pulled up his pants, and said she then heard someone yell, “‘Brett Cavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face!” from down the hall. “It was his full name,” she alleged. “I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.
3) Friends and classmates have taken sides. While no witnesses were able to confirm to The New Yorker whether or not Kavanaugh was at this party, some who were reached for comment threw in their two cents about the situation. One classmate, who did not want to be identified, said he was “100 percent” certain that he heard Kavanaugh had exposed himself to Deborah. However, another classmate said, “I don’t think Brett would flash himself to Debbie or anyone, for that matter.” Deborah claimed that this classmate was one of the men at the party who was egging Kavanuagh on.
4) Deborah is registered as a Democrat, but says she did not come forward because her political affiliations differ from Kavanaugh’s. Deborah said she decided to speak out because she wants to work toward “human rights, social justice and social change.”
5) Kavanaugh has denied the allegations against him. Kavanuagh released the following statement regarding the allegations made by Deborah: “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name — and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building — against these last-minute allegations.” The White House is standing by Kavanaugh, as well.