On Sunday, the New Yorker published a report by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow in which another woman accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Deborah Ramirez said that while they were students at Yale University, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her without her consent. Senate Democrats are investigating.
Who is Deborah Ramirez?
Ramirez, 53, studied sociology and psychology at Yale. After graduation, she worked for an organization that helped domestic-violence victims.
Her description of the incident
During her freshman year of 1983-84, Ramirez said she was invited to a dorm-room party. She and a group of students played a drinking game, and everyone got drunk. She says that at one point, Kavanaugh came up to her and exposed himself. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” said Ramirez in the New Yorker. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”
She added: “Brett was laughing,” as he covered up. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants … Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
Ramirez was reluctant to come forward
The New Yorker reports that Ramirez was hesitant about making her allegation at first, because she had been drinking on the night in question and there were gaps in her memory. But “after six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers” the details of the incident, the magazine said.
A number of former classmates back up Ramirez’s story
A classmate who wanted to remain anonymous told the New Yorker that he remembered hearing about the incident after it happened, and that he was “100 percent sure” that he was told Kavanaugh exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez. Other students corroborated Ramirez’s account in the New Yorker.
Kavanaugh might have committed perjury
During his Senate hearing, Kavanaugh swore under oath that as a legal adult he had never “committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature.” At the time of the incident described by Deborah Ramirez, both she and Kavanaugh were 18 and thus legal adults.
Kavanaugh denies the allegations
In a statement, Brett Kavanaugh said the incident “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.”