In September 2018, Christine Blasey Ford gained widespread media attention in the United States and beyond when she publicly made some allegations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In addition to becoming a major determining factor in the possible confirmation of the Supreme Court nominee, Ford’s allegations rekindled the long-running activism against sexual harassment and sexual assault, the widely popular #MeToo movement.
Who is Christine Blasey Ford?
Christine Margaret Blasey Ford was born in November 1966 in Montgomery County, Maryland. She had her high school education at Holton-Arms School, an elite all-girls school in Bethesda, Maryland graduating in 1984 and proceeded to have her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
She earned a Master’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University. She equally earned a Master’s degree in epidemiology, specializing in biostatistics, from the Stanford University School of Medicine. She eventually bagged her doctorate degree in educational psychology from the University of Southern Carolina.
Dr. Christine Ford served as a professor and research psychologist at Palo Alto University and currently, she is in a consortium program with Stanford University’s Department of Psychiatry. Ford has several academic publications under her professional/maiden Christine Blasey.
Christine Blasey Ford’s Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh is the US President Donald Trump‘s nominee for appointment as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in replacement of retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh, a Yale University-trained lawyer and a Republican, has previously served as White House Staff Secretary and also as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit. However, his confirmation to the exalted position of Supreme Court justice was stalled in September 2018 following allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by a former acquaintance.
Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford alleges that she was sexually harassed by the former at a high school party held in summer of 1982 when they were both teenagers. Ford (née Blasey), who was 15 at the time, alleges that she got trapped inside a bedroom of a house in Montgomery County, Maryland by then-17-year old Kavanaugh with another friend of his present. Allegedly, he tried to rip off her one-piece swimsuit and force himself on her while muffling her attempts at raising an alarm. She eventually managed to escape from his grip following the intervention of his friend.
Though the incident happened over 3 decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford admits that Kavanaugh’s nomination as a Supreme Court Justice revived the memory and thus caused her much distress. Ford first revealed the allegations in July 2018 when Brett Kavanaugh got shortlisted among possible nominees for the Supreme Court position. These initial revelations were made to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee via Ford’s local representative Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo.
Dr. Ford initially attempted to keep the matter confidential, however, it did not remain so for too long as the allegations soon filtered into the media. Subsequently, her previously low-key life got transformed overnight as she was bombarded both at home and at work by several news reporters requesting for her comment.
The accused, Brett Kavanaugh has strongly refuted the allegations, however, about 600 former schoolmates of Dr. Ford have rallied around her. One of her schoolmates Cristina King Miranda actually admits having heard rumors of the infamous incident shortly after it happened. Ford has also received a great amount of support from the American public most notably from prominent women’s rights groups.
On the flip side of the matter, she has fallen victim to countless attacks in the form of character assassination, death threats as well as email hacking. Despite the attempts to intimidate her, Ford has remained resolute and has expressed willingness to cooperate with the Senate committee as long as her safety is guaranteed. She has since engaged the services of a Washington-based attorney, Debra Katz, who specializes in whistle-blower, employment and sexual harassment laws.
There have also been widespread calls by Democrats for the FBI to conduct a full investigation regarding the allegation, however, the bureau has indicated that it lacks the jurisdiction to do that and thus, its role is limited to a background check into the fitness and character of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court nominee.
Christine Blasey Ford has been married since 2002 to an engineer named Russell Ford and they live in Palo Alto with their 2 children. However, they are said to have moved out of their home due to concerns over their safety as they have received multiple death threats since the allegations became public knowledge.