Christine Blasey Ford button
An activist wears a button that reads "I Support Dr. Christine Blasey Ford" at a protest on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 20. (Photo: Getty Images)

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were high-school students in the '80s. Here are the key facts about a reluctant figure in the most controversial Supreme Court nomination in decades.

 

1. She is a California-based academic with a long publishing history

 

Ford, 51, is a psychology professor at Palo Alto University. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds graduate degrees from Pepperdine University, Stanford and USC. She has published more than 50 articles in academic journals on psychological issues including trauma and PTSD.

 

2. She is married with two children.

 

Christine Blasey married Russell Ford in 2002, and they have two sons. The family lives in Palo Alto.

 

3. She wrote a letter to her senator, Dianne Feinstein, with the allegations

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford sent a letter to Feinstein alleging she had been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh when they were high-school students in the D.C. suburbs in the early '80s. She signed the letter but asked for her identity to be kept confidential. Feinstein complied with that request but forwarded the letter to the FBI. According to the New York Times, Ford then prepared "for the fight of her life," hiring attorneys and taking a polygraph test, which she passed.

4. She revealed her identity in the Washington Post last weekend

The general details of Ford's story came out in the press on Sept. 13 but did not name her. In July, Ford had contacted the Post through an anonymous tip line. After a BuzzFeed reporter showed up at her door earlier this month, Ford allowed the Post to report her identity and allegations on Sept. 16: During a summer party in the early '80s, Ford said that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge shut her in a bedroom. Both were "stumbling drunk," said Ford, and Kavanaugh tried to pull off her clothes, putting his hand over her mouth to silence her screams. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.” Ford escaped, locked herself in a bathroom and fled. She said the attack "derailed" her "for a couple of years," and she didn't tell anyone about it before telling her husband in couples therapy in 2012.

5. She has received death threats

Ford and her family are reportedly in hiding after she received threats against her safety, her lawyers said. CNN reported that Ford would speak with the FBI today in San Francisco about the threats.

6. She still might testify before Congress

Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys and the Senate Judiciary Committee are still negotiating over terms for Ford to testify before Congress next week. Ford has asked to testify Thursday, after Kavanaugh. On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee had counter-offered Wednesday and before Kavanaugh.