Connie Chung Reveals Sexual Assault in Open Letter to Christine Blasey Ford
"The exact date and year are fuzzy. But details of the event are vivid — forever seared in my memory," the veteran broadcast journalist wrote in the op-ed for The Washington Post.
Connie Chung revealed that she was sexually assaulted in a letter to Christine Blasey Ford published in The Washington Post on Wednesday.
After addressing Ford in the opening of the letter, the broadcast journalist wrote, "I, too, was sexually assaulted — not 36 years ago but about 50 years ago. I have kept my dirty little secret to myself. Silence for five decades.
"The molester was our trusted family doctor. What made this monster even more reprehensible was that he was the very doctor who delivered me on Aug. 20, 1946. I’m 72 now," she continued. "It was the 1960s. I was in college. The sexual revolution was in full swing. The exact date and year are fuzzy. But details of the event are vivid — forever seared in my memory."
Chung then stated that she is positive about the identity of her attacker.
"I was still a virgin in the ’60s. I did advance to the so-called heavy petting stage, short of intercourse. I assumed that would come next," she wrote. "I went to my family doctor to ask for birth-control pills, an IUD or a diaphragm."
The journalist explained that her attacker's office was in his home. "Again, I cannot remember the exact date or even year. Yet I can still describe the following in detail. He drew the curtain, asking me to remove my clothes below the waist while he sat at his desk by the bay window," she wrote. "When I was ready, he came to the examination area and installed stirrups on one end of the cushioned examination table."
Chung explained that she had never had a gynecological examination prior to the appointment. "It was extremely odd to spread my legs and dig my heels into those cold iron stirrups. While I stared at the ceiling, his right index finger massaged my clitoris. With his right middle finger inserted in my vagina, he moved both fingers rhythmically," she recalled. "He coached me verbally in a soft voice, 'Just breathe. Ah-ah,’ mimicking the sound of soft breathing. 'You’re doing fine,' he assured me.
"Suddenly, to my shock, I had an orgasm for the first time in my life. My body jerked several times. Then he leaned over, kissed me, a peck on my lips, and slipped behind the curtain to his office area," she wrote. "I don’t remember saying anything to him. I could not even look at him. I quickly dressed and drove home."
Similar to many sexual assault victims, Chung did not report her assault. "I think I may have told one of my sisters. I certainly did not tell my parents. I did not report him to authorities. It never crossed my mind to protect other women," she explained. "Please understand, I was actually embarrassed about my sexual naivete. I was in my 20s and knew nothing about sex. All I wanted to do was bury the incident in my mind and protect my family."
Chung credits the recent reporting about sexual assault cases for giving her the courage to speak out. "When the superb reporting of The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and The New York Times’ Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor helped touch off this intimate discussion, my dirty little secret reared its ugly head and I told anyone who would listen," she wrote.
"I think the doctor died almost 30 years ago in his 80s. I’ve driven past his home/office many times but refused to look at it," Chung continued. "Just yesterday, I found the house on Google Maps. Seeing it again, I freaked out."
She then addressed Ford in the letter. "Christine, I, too, am terrified as I reveal this publicly. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. Can you? If you can’t, I understand. I am frightened, I am scared, I can’t even cry," Chung wrote. "Christine, I know the truth, as you do."
"Will my legacy as a television journalist for 30-plus years be relegated to a footnote? Will 'She Too' be etched on my tombstone instead? I don’t want to tell the truth. I must tell the truth," she continued. "As a reporter, the truth has ruled my life, my thinking. It’s what I searched for on a daily working basis."
"I wish I could forget this truthful event, but I cannot because it is the truth. I am writing to you because I know that exact dates, exact years are insignificant," she wrote. "We remember exactly what happened to us and who did it to us. We remember the truth forever."
Chung concluded the letter with, "Bravo, Christine, for telling the truth."