In September 2018, Christine Blasey Ford attracted considerable media attention in the United States and beyond when she publicly made a number of sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ford’s allegations not only became a decisive factor in the possible confirmation of the Supreme Court nominee but also revived the long-standing activism against sexual harassment and sexual assault, the widespread #MeToo movement.
Who is Christine Blasey Ford?
Christine Margaret Blasey Ford was born in November 1966 in Montgomery County, Maryland. She completed her high school education at the Holton-Arms School, an elite school for girls in Bethesda, Maryland, which she graduated from in 1984, and continued her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina, which she completed with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1988.
She earned a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pepperdine. She also earned a master’s degree in epidemiology, specializing in biostatistics, from Stanford University School of Medicine. Finally, she received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern Carolina.
Dr. Christine Ford was a professor and research psychologist at the University of Palo Alto and is currently in a consortium program with the Stanford University School of Psychiatry. Ford has authored several academic publications under her specialist / mother-tongue Christine Blasey.
Dr. Ford’s Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh is the candidate of U.S. President Donald Trump for the appointment as Assistant Supreme Court Justice to replace retired Judge Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh, a lawyer and Republican educated at Yale University, previously served as White House Personnel Secretary and also as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. judicial district. However, his confirmation of his elevated position as a Supreme Court Justice was blocked in September 2018 after an earlier acquaintance made sexual harassment allegations against him.
Kavanaugh’s prosecutor, Christine Blasey Ford, claims that she was sexually harassed by Kavanaugh’s former acquaintance at a high school party in the summer of 1982 when they were both teenagers. Ford (née Blasey), who was 15 years old at the time, claims that she was locked in a bedroom of a house in Montgomery County, Maryland, by the then 17-year-old Kavanaugh with another friend. Allegedly, he tried to take off her one-piece swimsuit and force himself on her while suppressing her attempts to raise the alarm. After the intervention of his friend, she finally managed to free herself from his grip.
Although the incident took place more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford admits that Kavanaugh’s nomination as Supreme Court Justice revived her memory and caused her much grief. Ford first revealed the allegations in July 2018, when Brett Kavanaugh was short-listed as a possible Supreme Court nominee. These initial revelations were communicated to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, through Ford’s local congresswoman Anna Eshoo.
Dr. Ford initially tried to keep the matter confidential, but this did not last too long as the allegations soon reached the media. As a result, her previously unremarkable life was transformed overnight when she was bombarded both at home and at work by several news reporters who asked her to comment.
The defendant, Brett Kavanaugh, has strongly denied the allegations, but some 600 former schoolmates of Dr. Ford have rallied around her. One of her schoolmates, Cristina King Miranda, even admits to having heard rumors about the incident shortly after the infamous incident. Ford has also received great support from the American public, especially from prominent women’s rights groups.
On the other hand, it has fallen victim to countless attacks in the form of character assassination, death threats, and e-mail hacking. Despite attempts to intimidate her, Ford has remained resolute and has agreed to cooperate with the Senate committee as long as her safety is guaranteed. Since then, she has enlisted the services of Washington-based attorney Debra Katz, who specializes in whistleblower, employment, and sexual harassment laws.
There were also widespread Democratic calls for the FBI to conduct a full investigation of the allegation. However, the Bureau has indicated that it is not competent to do so and that its role is therefore limited to checking the suitability and character of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court nominee.
Christine Blasey Ford has been married to an engineer named Russell Ford since 2002 and they live with their 2 children in Palo Alto. However, they are said to have left home out of concern for their safety, as they have received several death threats since the allegations became public.