Second woman alleges sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh, this time in college
WASHINGTON — A second woman has come forward alleging sexual misconduct by embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, days before his scheduled testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to a previous allegation of sexual assault.
Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale University with Kavanaugh, told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and exposed himself to her while they were classmates there.
“I remember a penis being in front of my face,” said Ramirez, who says she had been drinking. “I knew that's not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”
She told the magazine that she pushed the person away.
“I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated,” she said. She added that she recalled Kavanaugh next to her, 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.... Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”
In the last week, three sources familiar with the accusation told NBC about Ramirez's accusation. Ramirez, 53, is the same age as Kavanaugh and they both graduated from the university in 1987. Her sister Denise Ramirez was a year behind them at Yale.
Ramirez, who is now married and lives in Boulder, Colorado, is a volunteer and board member at a nonprofit group that helps victims of domestic violence, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence. Ramirez referred NBC on Saturday to her lawyer, Stanley Garnett, who did not respond to requests for comment through the weekend.
The latest accusation comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to hear on Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when both were in high school. Earlier Saturday, Ford conditionally agreed to testify before the committee next week, though her attorneys indicated that several details surrounding her appearance were still being negotiated. Kavanaugh has already agreed to testify at the hearing, which had originally been scheduled for Monday.
Minutes after the release of The New Yorker's report, the White House released a pair of statements denying the claim.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen," said Kavanaugh. "The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name — and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building — against these last-minute allegations.”
The White House itself echoed Kavanaugh's pushback.
“This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man," said White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec. "This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh.”
By Leigh Ann Caldwell, Carol E. Lee and Heidi Przybyla