A second woman came forward Sunday with new allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, claiming the judge exposed himself to her and thrust his penis in her face during a party when they were students at Yale University.
Deborah Ramirez, 53, told The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer that she was at a dorm room party with Kavanaugh and several other students during Yale’s 1983-84 school year. Ramirez said the group was playing a drinking game and she became inebriated. Later in the evening she was on the floor and remembered a “penis being in front” of her face before she pushed the person away, causing her to touch it. She said she recalled Kavanaugh standing next to her, laughing and pulling up his pants. Another student then yelled down the hall: “Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face.“
She noted that there are large gaps in her memory and said she was hesitant to come forward, afraid that she would be attacked because she had been drinking at the time. But Ramirez said her experience, along with that of Christine Blasey Ford, would warrant an FBI investigation into the nominee’s behavior.
Kavanaugh denied the claims in a statement to the outlet, saying the event “from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple.”
White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec rejected Ramirez’s allegations, telling The New Yorker they are the latest in a “coordinated smear campaign.” A spokesperson for The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Sunday evening.
The New Yorker said it was unable to independently confirm if Kavanaugh was at the party, but interviewed several of Ramirez’s classmates who recalled being told about the incident in vague terms within days of it allegedly happening. Several others disputed the claims, saying the behavior was “completely out of character for Brett.”
The outlet also noted that senior Republican aides learned of Ramirez’s claims last week, telling the outlet that they worried about its impact on the Kavanaugh’s nomination. Shortly thereafter, some GOP Senators publicly expressed their desire to quickly move forward on the nomination.
In a subsequent statement Sunday evening, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said the committee’s majority staff learned about the new allegations from the New Yorker report. He said that Senate Democrats had “actively withheld information from the rest of the Committee only to drop information at politically opportune moments.”
The Ramirez claims are the latest in a whirlwind week of allegations against the Supreme Court’s nominee.
Blasey, a psychologist working in Northern California, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party in the 1980s when they were both in high school. In an interview with The Washington Post, Blasey said a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and attempted to take off her clothing before she was able to escape.
Kavanaugh has roundly denied the allegations.
Blasey’s legal team said Sunday that she had agreed to speak with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday after days of heated negotiations.
“Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” her attorneys said in a statement.
The New Yorker piece also included serious allegations against Mark Judge, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s who came to the nominee’s defense after Blasey first went public with her own allegations. Elizabeth Rasor, a former girlfriend of Judge’s, said that the man was lying when he claimed that there was no “horseplay” culture at Georgetown Prep, the high school both Judge and Kavanaugh attended.
Rasor claimed that at one point during her three-year relationship with Judge, he told her of an incident where he and others had sex with an inebriated woman. His lawyer said Judge “categorically denies” the allegations.
Judge has refused to testify at any Senate hearing, although some have been urging the committee to issue a subpoena.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents the adult film star Stormy Daniels and is a vocal critic of the Trump administration, leveled his own accusations at Kavanaugh in a tweet late Sunday showing what appeared to be a screenshot of an email he sent to the chief counsel for nominations to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the email, the lawyer said that he claimed to have “significant evidence” that Kavanaugh and a friend from high school, Mark Judge, participated in “targeting” women at house parties with “alcohol/drugs.”
Avenatti did not specify the nature of Kavanaugh’s involvement or cite evidence for these assertions in his tweet, but said he would be releasing evidence to both the public and lawmakers “in the coming days.” HuffPost also reached out to the White House about Avenatti’s claims.
Trump has supported his nominee throughout the allegations, and used a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday to praise Kavanaugh as a “great gentleman” he called “one of the finest human beings you will ever have the privilege of knowing.” He also roundly attacked Blasey, questioning why she didn’t step forward with her claims earlier.
Nearly two-thirds of people who are raped or sexually assaulted do not go to the police at all, according to U.S. Department of Justice figures.
This article has been updated to include Michael Avenatti’s accusations and a statment from Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.