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A second woman has come forward accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
In a story posted on The New Yorker‘s website on Sunday night, written by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, Deborah Ramirez alleged that while attending Yale University with Kavanaugh, he exposed himself at a dorm party where alcohol was present, put his penis in her face and then, as she pushed him away, caused her to touch it without her consent.
The incident, she said, happened during the 1983-84 school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman. Farrow and Mayer wrote that Ramirez, who is now 53, admits that her memories contain gaps and that she was drinking at the time. But, after six days of weighing it over, she felt confident enough to speak after being contacted by the writers. “I would think an FBI investigation would be warranted,” Ramirez said.
Kavanaugh denied that the incident occurred in a statement to The New Yorker.
“This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” he said. “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.”
In addition, White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec told The New Yorker that the Trump administration is standing behind Kavanaugh.
“This 35-year-old, uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man,” Kupec said. “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.”
Separately on Sunday, around the time The New Yorker story was posted, Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing former adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her case against President Donald Trump, tweeted that he is representing someone with “credible information” about Kavanaugh. He did not reveal this person’s name.
Meanwhile, Ramirez alleged that the partygoers at Yale were playing a drinking game, and she became drunk. At some point during the party, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis at her, and then later another male student exposed himself to her.
“I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.”
Ramirez claimed that she pushed him away, touching his penis as she did so. She said she remembers Kavanaugh standing next to her and laughing while he was pulling up his pants and then hearing someone else shout, “Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.”
According to The New Yorker, at least four Democratic senators have this information, and two are investigating it.
Still, Farrow and Mayer write, they have not confirmed that Kavanaugh was at the party.
Farrow appeared on ABC News Monday morning to speak about the claim with Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos (video, below). He said Ramirez came forward after Senate Democrats “began looking” at the alleged incident.
“She came forward when Senate Democrats began looking at this claim,” Farrow said. “She did not flag this for those Democrats. This came to [the] attention of people on the Hill independently and it’s really cornered her into an awkward position. That’s why she took the time to think about this carefully. As she said point blank: ‘I don’t want to ruin anyone’s life.'”
Ramirez said that she hopes her story will support that of Christine Blasey Ford, who also has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in an incident she says happened decades ago.
Ford says an inebriated Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, muffled her cries and tried removing her clothes when both were teenagers in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied doing this and said he wants to appear before the committee as soon as possible to clear his name.
On Saturday, Ford’s attorneys said she had accepted a Senate committee’s request to tell her side next week, but she wanted to resume negotiations over the exact terms of her appearance.
Ford’s accusations and the standoff over the terms of her appearance have left the appeals court judge’s confirmation in jeopardy. And just seven weeks from an election in which Democrats are hoping to capture control of the House and maybe the Senate, her emergence also has drawn intensified attention to the #MeToo movement’s focus on sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, anti-harassment organization Time’s Up on Sunday called for a national walkout in support of Ford.
This is just the latest story written by Farrow that involves allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment or abuse against a public figure. His exposés on Leslie Moonves and Harvey Weinstein led to their ousters at CBS and The Weinstein Co., respectively.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sept. 24, 7:45 a.m. This story has been updated with GMA video.
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