Jim Gensheimer, a close friend of Christine Blasey Ford, the Palo Alto University psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while both were in high school, shared a chilling detail with the Los Angeles Times: Decades after Kavanaugh allegedly cornered Ford in a bedroom at a high school party, she didn’t want to buy a home without a second exit from the master bedroom.
“Obviously, something happened that traumatized her so much that she’s afraid of being trapped,” Gensheimer told the Times.
Last Sunday, Ford told the Washington Post that roughly 35 years ago, Kavanaugh held her down in a bedroom at a high school house party and attempted to force himself on her, covering her mouth to quiet her protests. She said she was able to run away and lock herself in the bathroom after another male classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Mark Judge, who was in the room, jumped on the two of them, knocking them over.
Her allegations were documented by her therapist in notes from sessions in 2012 and 2013, in which Ford talked about a “rape attempt” and being attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school.”
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, as has Judge.
For days, Republicans in the Senate have been quick to say that they find Kavanaugh to be “honest.” They have repeated his denials and spoken about his great character, emphasizing that they know him — and they don’t know Ford.
“I have no reason not to believe him,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said Monday. “We have never seen this person. It just happened five days before a vote and 35 years ago. I do think Kavanaugh has handled himself well. We didn’t know who she was until yesterday.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said the same, saying that he thinks Ford was possibly “mistaken.”
“I think she’s mistaking something, but I don’t know; I mean, I don’t know her,” Hatch said.
But the accounts from those who do know Ford, as detailed in the LA Times, describe her as honest, calm, a rigorous academic, and “a woman of great integrity.”
According to the Times, Ford “was worried about ruining Kavanaugh’s career and was open to the idea that people can change,” according to Gensheimer.
The descriptions of Ford from her acquaintances and colleagues, in fact, bear a close resemblance to how Republicans have described Kavanaugh. It raises an important factor: Who seems credible will be crucial if Ford and Kavanaugh both testify before the Senate committee.
Republicans have scheduled a hearing on the allegations for Monday and extended an invitation to both Ford and Kavanaugh to testify. Ford has not accepted the offer, and her lawyer has said her claims should first be investigated by the FBI. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley said Wednesday that either Ford will testify Monday or the committee will not delay the committee vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation any longer.
That vote would serve as a recommendation to the full Senate.