Now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, made a rare public appearance over the weekend to accept a “courage award” from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The New York Post reports that Dr. Ford, who has since returned to duties as a professor and researcher at Stanford University, attended the awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, Sunday, and gave a speech where she took credit for doing her patriotic duty in accusing Kavanaugh of a decades-old sexual assault during his Senate confirmation hearings.
“When I came forward last September, I did not feel courageous. I was simply doing my duty as a citizen,” she told the friendly Hollywood audience after accepting the Rodger Baldwin Courage Award. “I understood that not everyone would welcome my information, and I was prepared for a variety of outcomes, including being dismissed.”
“I was not prepared for the venom, the persistent attacks,” she added. “I was not prepared to be physically threatened and forced out of my home.”
Dr. Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the pair were both high school students. Dr. Ford claimed that Kavanaugh had several of his friends hold her down while he rubbed against her in the bedroom of a vacant Washington, D.C., area beach house sometime in the 1980s.
“She alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her over her clothing before trying to remove it and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream,” according to NBC News.
Although she had no evidence to back up her allegations and her only named witness, a woman by the name of Leland Keyser, had no recollection of the party or the assault, Dr. Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh were given significant weight, and Dr. Ford herself was called to testifty in a special session of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her allegations also became the subject of both an FBI and a Senate Judiciary investigation.
Following in her footsteps, several other women made similary specious allegations against the now-Supreme Court Justice. Those allegations remain, like Dr. Ford’s, unproven.
Kavanaugh denies all of the allegations, including Dr. Ford’s. He was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court, though the protests against him have continued. Just last week, Kavanaugh was the guest of honor at the Federalist Society’s annual gala and both the Supreme Court Justice and gala attendees were met with a line of “Handmaids” dressed in red cloaks to protest Kavanaugh’s “attacks” on women.
Dr. Ford hasn’t made many personal appearances since Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings, but she did turn out for this event and to accept a similar award last month, that time from the California YWCA.
At Sunday’s awards ceremony, Dr. Ford was introduced by filmmaker and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, Judd Apatow, who called Dr. Ford “a true American hero.”
Dr. Ford told the crowd that, while she still suffers from her time in the spotlight, she hopes her testimony helps other women come forward to confront their own sexual assaults and that she believes she “gives strength” to women who have been attacked.
“My voice was just one voice,” she said. “You are many. We are many.