The woman, Deborah Ramirez, was a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale. After carefully reviewing her memories of the event, Ramirez told the New Yorker that she remembers Kavanaugh “exposing himself” to her at a “drunken dormitory party,” during which time he “thrust his penis in her face and caused her to touch it without her consent.” Ramirez has not stated whether she is willing to testify, but she has called for an FBI investigation.
Kavanaugh and the White House both deny these claims, issuing similar statements on Sunday evening that were published in the article. “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen,” Kavanaugh wrote. Calling it “smear,” Kavanaugh noted that he “looks forward” to his upcoming testimony and “defending [his] good name.”
But on Monday morning, the article’s authors Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s TODAY respectively to defend their reporting. When asked why the story only broke now, so close to Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, Mayer told Savannah Guthrie that actually Yale classmates had been “emailing” about the incident as far back as July, before Christine Blasey Ford came forward. Eventually, she explained, word of the incident spread to the Senate and to the media and Farrow approached Ramirez to provide her account. Only after thinking it over for six days did Ramirez decide to speak with them.
Mayer conceded that they found no eyewitnesses who would confirm the incident taking place, but that they did find someone who remembers hearing about it. This person was allegedly sober at the party and is “100% sure” that it was Brett Kavanaugh about whom he had heard a story.
Farrow similarly told host George Stephanopoulos that “it is not accurate to say that those who knew him at the time dispute this.” In particular, he referenced speaking to a former roommate of Kavanaugh’s, who said that Kavanaugh was “frequently drunk,” that he “took part in activity” that made the former roommate “unsurprised” by the claim and that he found Ramirez “credible.”
Farrow then acknowledged both that there were no eyewitnesses and Ramirez was in fact inebriated at the time of the purported event. But Farrow suggested that he believes her allegation to be credible, pointing to her cautious, measured approach and need to ensure that there was an evidentiary basis for her story.
“This is not the behavior of someone who is fabricating something,” Farrow said.