The two accusations of sexual misconduct facing Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh have one big thing in common — alcohol. Christine Blasey Ford says a drunken Kavanaugh attempted to her rape her in high school and Deborah Ramirez says she was drunk when Kavanaugh thrust his bare penis in her face at a college party.
Kavanaugh denies both allegations. He also denies ever drinking to the point of blacking out. In an interview Monday with Fox News, Martha MacCallum asked if there was “ever a time that you drank so much that you couldn’t remember what happened the night before?”
“No, that never happened,” said Kavanaugh, who insisted his focus in school was on academics, athletics, church, and “service projects.”
But that squeaky clean image does not comport with the memories of some of Kavanaugh’s college classmates. Now they’re coming forward to dispute his attempt to make himself out of be a “choir boy.”
“Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” Liz Swisher, a college friend of Kavanaugh’s, told the Washington Post. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.”
The New York Times spoke to “nearly a dozen people who knew him well or socialized with him” and they all said Kavanaugh was a heavy drinker at Yale.
BuzzFeed also reached out to dozens of Kavanaugh’s former classmates. One anonymous Yalie told the site that she remembered Kavanaugh as a drunk, but not a violent one.
One college friend of Kavanaugh’s, who asked not to be named, said she had frequently been drunk with him at parties. She hadn’t seen him become belligerent, she said — instead, he could often be found slumped over, asleep, during and after parties.
“He drank a lot — he wasn’t falling asleep reading a book,” the former friend told BuzzFeed News. “I would suggest that very few people in the ’80s in the circles we were in did not sometimes go” to the point of being blacked out.
These stories largely match with the image of Kavanaugh that his college roommate, James Roche, put forward in a statement Monday. Roche said Kavanaugh was a “notably heavy drinker” and he recalled his onetime roommate “frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk.”
At Yale, Kavanaugh was a member of a particularly hard-partying frat, which led to one incident of drunkenness that has stuck with Lynne Brookes, a former roommate of Deborah Ramirez’s.
Brookes said she remembers seeing Kavanaugh outside the Sterling Memorial Library, wearing a superhero cape and an old leather football helmet and swaying, working to keep his balance.
He was ordered to hop on one foot, grab his crotch and approach her with a rhyme, Brookes said. He couldn’t keep balanced, she said, but belted out the rhyme she’s remembered to this day: “I’m a geek, I’m a geek, I’m a power tool. When I sing this song, I look like a fool.”
“It’s a funny, drunk college story that you remember — at least, I remember,” Brookes said. As she tracked his career over the years, and his rise in the federal court system, she said, “I thought it was so funny to think that’s the Brett who sang that song.”
Not every ex-classmate tracked down to talk about Kavanaugh remembered him as a complete sponge. Former NBA center Chris Dudley, a close friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, told the Post: “I went out with him all the time. He never blacked out. Never even close to blacked out.” Turns out, the former Knick might not be the most reliable source about his college years though. In 2010, while running for governor of Oregon as a Republican, he told a local paper that, despite records showing he registered as a Democrat after his freshman year of college, he had no recollection of ever belonging to the party.