Ever since Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward with accusations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, one name has frequently surfaced as a key figure in her story: Mark Judge.
Who is Mark Judge?
Mark Judge was a close friend of Brett Kavanaugh in high school. They both attended the prestigious Georgetown Prep high school. In 1997, Judge wrote a memoir titled “Wasted,” which depicted the heavy drinking culture at Georgetown Prep and featured a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” who drank too much and passed out. Today, Judge is sober and has written for conservative publications including the Daily Caller and Weekly Standard.
Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations about Mark Judge
Christine Blasey Ford alleges that Mark Judge was an eyewitness to her sexual assault, which happened at a summer house party. She said Kavanaugh and Judge were “visibly drunk” and Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh pushed her onto a bed, attempted to remove her clothes, and put a hand over her mouth to silence her screams. “It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” said Ford in prepared remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. “Both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack. They both seemed to be having a good time. Mark was urging Brett on, although at times he told Brett to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.” Ford added that Judge jumped on the bed, which caused them to tumble to the floor, allowing her to escape.
After weeks of sporadic comment — during which he was holed up in a beach house in Delaware — Judge responded to Ford’s account at length late Thursday. In a letter addressed to Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Judge said he did “not recall the events described by Dr. Ford in her testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee today. I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”
Judge also wrote that he did not want to testify publicly: “As a recovering alcoholic and a cancer survivor, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. As a result, I avoid public speaking.” He added that he and Kavanaugh were friends in high school, but have not “spoken directly in several years.”
Julie Swetnick’s allegations about Mark Judge
On Wednesday, a third Kavanaugh accuser surfaced. Julie Swetnick said in a sworn statement that she had attended parties with Kavanaugh and Judge, in which certain girls were targeted, drugged and gang raped. She said that she was a victim of one of these attacks and that Kavanaugh and Judge were “present.” Judge has denied those allegations.
On Friday afternoon, Mark Judge’s lawyer told CNBC that he would answer “any and all questions” posed to him by the FBI about the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Mark Judge’s writing
Judge’s father was a writer and editor for National Geographic. Wanting to follow in his footsteps, Judge pursued a career as a freelance writer. In addition to “Wasted” and his writing for conservative sites, he wrote a book about his grandfather, baseball player Joe Judge, and “God and Man at Georgetown Prep,” a book about the culture at his high school.
In the Washington Post, former co-workers and classmates described Judge as angry, mercurial and difficult. At one point, he sent a homophobic letter to a newspaper editor who turned down his pitches and was banned from the paper. He was also banned from writing for the Post. Maryland state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), one of Judge’s classmates at Georgetown Prep, recalls him as “an unhappy person who was happy to make other people unhappy. ‘Bully’ may be an overused term, but he regularly belittled people he perceived as being lower on the high school hierarchy.”
But it’s what he wrote in his high school yearbook that has gotten the most attention. Echoing Noel Coward, he wrote: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.”