Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Margaret Blasey Ford, known professionally as Christine Blasey born November 1966 is an American psychologist and professor of statistics at Palo Alto University. Widely published in her field, she specializes in designing statistical models for research projects. During her academic career, Ford has worked as a research psychologist for Stanford University’s Department of Psychiatry and a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine Collaborative Clinical Psychology Program.

On September 16, 2018, she publicly alleged that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, in what she described as an attempted rape.

Christine Blasey spent her early life in Maryland, near Washington, D.C., where she attended a private university-preparatory school. While on her regional sports team for diving, she accompanied diver Greg Louganis on a trip to the White House to discuss the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. She graduated in 1984 from Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland.

She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988. She received a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University. In 2009, she garnered a master’s degree in epidemiology, with a focus on the subject of biostatistics, from Stanford University. She has a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Southern California. Her 1995 dissertation was entitled Measuring Young Children’s Coping Responses to Interpersonal Conflict.

Christine Blasey Ford began teaching at Stanford University in 1988. She works at Palo Alto University teaching students clinical trial design and data analysis. She participates in educational programs with the Stanford University School of Medicine as a member of a consortium group with Palo Alto University.  Through this consortium group, called the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), Ford teaches subjects including psychometrics, study methodologies, and statistics. She performed consulting work for multiple pharmaceutical companies. Ford worked as the director of biostatistics at Corcept Therapeutics, and collaborated with FDA statisticians. According to NPR and The Washington Post, Ford was “widely published”.

Sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh

In early July 2018, after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was reported to be on the shortlist to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ford contacted both The Washington Post via a tip line and her Representative Anna Eshoo. On July 20, eleven days after President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Eshoo met with Ford for about 90 minutes, becoming convinced of Ford’s credibility and noting that Christine Blasey Ford seemed “terrified” that her identity as an accuser might become public. Thereafter, Eshoo and Ford mutually decided to take the matter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would deliberate Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. In late July, Eshoo arranged for a letter from Ford to be hand-delivered to a Feinstein aide in Washington. In the letter, Ford alleged that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when both were in high school, and stated that she expected her story to be kept confidential. In August, Ford took a polygraph test with a former FBI agent, who concluded Ford was being truthful when she endorsed a statement summarizing her allegations as accurate.

Feinstein did not mention Ford’s allegations during the committee’s four-day public confirmation hearing that began on September 4, 2018; in her private meeting with Brett Kavanaugh; or at a closed session in which Kavanaugh met with the committee. On September 12, The Intercept reported (without naming Ford) that Feinstein was withholding a Brett Kavanaugh-related document from fellow Judiciary Committee Democrats. Feinstein then referred Ford’s letter to the FBI, which redacted Ford’s name and forwarded the letter to the White House as an update to Brett Kavanaugh’s background check. The White House in turn sent the letter to the full Senate Judiciary Committee.

On September 16, 2018, after the accusations were made widely known in the media and reporters started to track down her identity, Ford went public. Christine Blasey Ford had wrestled with the choice to make her identity known, weighing the potential negative impact it could have on her. According to her, the sexual assault took place in the summer of 1982 when she was 15 and he was 17. Christine Blasey Ford told The Washington Post that, with another boy watching, Brett Kavanaugh, intoxicated, held her down on a bed with his body, grinding against and groping her, covering her mouth when she tried to scream and trying to pull her clothes off. She recounted escaping when the second boy jumped on them both and they all fell. Ford provided The Post with the polygraph as well as session notes from her therapist written in 2012. The therapist’s notes do not name Brett Kavanaugh but record her claim of being attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington”. The therapist’s notes also say four boys were involved, which Ford attributed to an error by the therapist; Ford said in 2018 that four boys were at the party but only two were involved in the incident. Ford’s husband recalled that she had used Brett Kavanaugh’s last name in her 2012 description of the incident. Judge Brett Kavanaugh has categorically denied Ford’s allegations. Ford retained civil rights lawyer Debra Katz to represent her throughout the process of going public with her statements about Brett Kavanaugh.

On September 18, Ford’s attorneys sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley requesting that the FBI investigate the incident before the Senate holds a hearing on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations. “A full investigation by law enforcement officials,” the letter said, “will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions.” The letter also stated that Ford had received a “stunning amount of support from her community,” but had also become “the target of vicious harassment and even death threats” and was forced to leave her home. Ford’s attorney Lisa Banks told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “Christine Blasey Ford will talk with the committee. She is not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday September 24. This just came out 48 hours ago.” The same day, a crowdfunding campaign was created to defray Ford’s security costs. The fund surpassed its $100,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

Christine Blasey Ford lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband Russell Ford, whom she married in 2002, and two sons.She is a registered Democrat. She attended the 2017 Women’s March and the March for Science. According to the Federal Election Commission, she has made campaign contributions totaling $80.50, which included donations to the Democratic National Committee and Friends of Bernie Sanders. Ford is the aunt of actress and singer Bridgit Mendler.

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