Moments before a much-anticipated hearing Thursday about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, Fox News Channel anchor Chris Wallace said his own daughters revealed details about incidents they had faced during their adolescence.
While waiting for Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, to arrive at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Wallace said on live television that over the past week, his relatives, “like a lot of American families,” have been discussing and debating the controversy surrounding allegations against Kavanaugh. During those conversations, he said, “two of my daughters told me stories that I had never heard before about things that happened to them in high school.”
Wallace acknowledged that the allegations were not as serious as those against Kavanaugh, but, he said, “the point is that there are teenage girls who don’t tell stories to a lot of people, and then it comes up.”
“And I don’t think we can disregard that,” he added. “I don’t think we can disregard Christine Blasey Ford and the seriousness of this. I think that would be a big mistake.”
After Wallace’s on-air remarks, Ford arrived at the hearing and began to provide her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Ford detailed the party where she said she was assaulted, naming other people who she said were there. They included Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and a boy named “PJ,” as well as a female friend, Leland Keyser, she said.
At one point when they were upstairs, “Brett and Mark came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them. There was music playing in the bedroom,” and Kavanaugh and Judge turned up the volume, she said.
Kavanaugh then groped her and tried to take off Ford’s clothes, including her one-piece bathing suit, she said. “I believed he was going to rape me,” she said, saying she thought that Kavanaugh was “going to accidentally kill me.”
She was able to get out and leave the room, Ford said.
“I did not want to tell my parents,” said Ford, who was 15 years old at the time. “I convinced myself that because Brett did not rape me, I should just move on.”
Throughout her statement, Ford read from prepared remarks. With her voice cracking at times, Ford told senators how she came to tell her story despite deep reservations about going public.
“I believed that if I came forward, my voice would be drowned out by a chorus of powerful supporters” of Kavanaugh, she said.
The response to her allegations, Ford said, has been worse than she imagined, and she described in vivid terms how her family has faced threats and been forced to relocate from its home.
“I have been called the most vile and hateful names imaginable. These messages, while far fewer than the expressions of support, have been terrifying to receive and have rocked me to my core,” she said.
Ford forcefully defended herself, saying she is not motivated by politics.
“I am a fiercely independent person and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take that into serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed.”
In his statement, however, Kavanaugh has strongly denied the allegations against him.
“I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr. Ford,” the statement read. “I never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with Dr. Ford. I am not questioning that Dr. Ford may have been sexually assaulted by some person in some place at some time. But I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge.”