The New Yorker published an explosive story Sunday night reporting that Senate Democrats are investigating a fresh allegation of sexual misconduct involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This latest claim involves Kavanaugh’s actions while he was a freshman at Yale University and was put forward by Deborah Ramirez, who attended college with Kavanaugh and claims he exposed himself at a drunken party and “thrust his penis in her face.” That action allegedly led Ramirez to touch his penis without her consent while she was pushing him away. Ramirez, 53, is now calling on the FBI to investigate.
Ramirez seems to have gone thorugh a lot of soul searching before deciding to come forward to tell her story. At first she was reluctant to speak publicly, saying her memory was hazy because she had been drinking. But after “six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” Ramirez decided to come forward, saying she felt confident that it was Kavanaugh who had exposed himself to her. The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer summarize what Ramirez claims took place:
Ramirez said that, when both she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale, she was invited by a friend on the women’s soccer team to a dorm-room party. She recalled that the party took place in a suite at Lawrance Hall, in the part of Yale known as the Old Campus, and that a small group of students decided to play a drinking game together. “We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words as that male student and another stood nearby. (Ramirez identified the two male onlookers, but, at her request, The New Yorker is not naming them.)
A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.”
Kavanaugh vehemently denies the allegation and the White House is obviously standing by its nominee. The New Yorker talked to several classmates, some of whom say they heard about the incident at the time while others deny that it ever took place. One classmate, who refused to be identified, said he heard about the incident at the time and was “one hundred percent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself to Ramirez.
Beyond the specific instance it seems several Yale alumni have been discussing Kavanaugh’s behavior in college, a time when the judge apparently liked to drink a lot. One former classmate who said he never witnessed Kavanaugh engage in any sort of sexual misconduct did say the Supreme Court nominee was “frequently, incoherently drunk.” Ramirez said she didn’t talk much about the incident over the years because she blamed herself for drinking too much at the party. “I didn’t want any of this,” she said. “But now I have to speak.”
It seems more women could be coming forward with allegations of misconduct. Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, wrote on Twitter that he represents “a woman with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.” He later clarified the woman is not Ramirez. The New Yorker published its story mere hours after confirmation that Christine Blasey Ford will be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were both in high school.