The woman who wrote a letter to lawmakers accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct claimed he held her down and tried to force himself on her during an alcohol-fueled high school party in the ’80s, according to a New Yorker article published on Friday.
Kavanaugh was a student at the Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland, and met the woman, who attended a nearby high school, at the party, according to the report, authored by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer.
The New York Post reports,
The woman wrote that Kavanaugh held her down and tried to force himself on her after he and a pal, who both had been drinking, turned up the volume on music that was playing to drown out her protests, the magazine reported.
Kavanaugh, she said, also covered her mouth with his hand, but she was eventually able to get free and flee.
Even though the alleged incident took place decades ago, the woman said that the memory was so troubling, she had to seek psychological treatment.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, first approached California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo in July not long after President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Eshoo turned it over to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who said Thursday she had handed it over to the Justice Department.
Kavanaugh, 53, denied that the incident ever happened.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said in a statement.
Kavanaugh’s buddy from the party said he had “no recollection of that,” according to the magazine.
Since he was nominated and was in the headlines, the woman told friends that the development had revived the painful memories of the incident and that she was struggling over whether to go public.
The White House called Feinstein’s move an “11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation.”
The Judiciary Committee, which has finished confirmation hearings on Kavanaugh, is scheduled to vote next Thursday on whether to recommend that he be confirmed by the full Senate.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican and a committee member, was also skeptical.
“Let me get this straight: this is [sic] statement about secret letter regarding a secret matter and an unidentified person. Right,” he tweeted.
Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa was unaware of the information until it was made public, according to a GOP committee aide.
But on Friday, Grassley released a letter signed by 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school defending his character.
“We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect,” they wrote.
“The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views. Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person.”
It was unclear how the women knew about the allegations, which were made public on Thursday.
Kavanaugh has undergone six federal background checks over time in government, including one most recently for the nomination, the aide said.