PALO ALTO (KPIX) — Out of the shadows and into the spotlight, the Bay Area woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brent Kavanaugh had hoped to remain anonymous. Not anymore.
Since Christine Blasey Ford’s identity was revealed, more and more details have emerged about her.
Now, many of her neighbors are just learning that Kavanaugh’s accuser is their neighbor, and they’re expressing their admiration for her.
Ford lives with her husband and two sons in Palo Alto. Until now, she’s lived a quiet life as a wife, mother, Palo Alto University professor and research psychologist.
But that quiet ended with the nomination of Brent Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
“She’s a very brave woman to stand up to all the scrutiny she’s going to be getting,” says neighbor Chris Temassa.
Blasey Ford came forward accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party while the two were high school students in Maryland, back in the 1980’s.
She has since gone into seclusion with her family but since her name was published, neighbors have been coming by her house out of curiosity and support.
“It’s sad that it has to be that dramatic,” says Temassa. “But what she’s doing the right thing.”
The Palo Alto professor’s longtime next door neighbor says she is dedicated to her family, and her work, but had no idea she would be thrust into the national spotlight.
“We were stunned,” said Ted Jenkins. “Had no idea in the world, nobody saw this one coming.
Blasey Ford first told her story to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who said she tried to keep her privacy.
“Well, my constituent certainly understood that many things could come her way if in fact, this were public,” said Representative Eshoo. “She was worried about her family, she has young children, her husband. She had a very strong sense that her life would be upended because that’s what happens to individuals that are assaulted.”
As her story spread last night, a family friend came to the family’s home to retrieve their dog.
“She’s a great person and a great friend,” she said.
One neighbor, who says she regularly saw the family playing basketball outside, said she’s glad Blasey Ford stepped forward.
“She’s a great person and a great friend,” said Sonya Bradski, who was passing the house on her bike. “It’s good for the truth to come out. People should understand who they are electing.”
Now she and Kavanaugh have agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week in a public hearing on Capitol Hill.
Blasey Ford’s allegations have shaken up Washington.
Thursday’s scheduled vote on Judge Kavanuagh this week has been postponed. Instead, there will be a special hearing on Monday where accuser Blasey Ford will testify.
President Trump was not happy that vote was derailed.
“I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner,” said President Trump. Because they had this information for many months, and they shouldn’t have waited until literally the last days, they should have done it a lot sooner.”
The President and Senate Republicans say allegations of sexual misconduct should have been brought up during Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings last month. Congresswoman Eshoo says, that wasn’t possible because the accuser wanted to keep the information confidential.
“I thought that it was important to stress to her that it was not up to me to tell her what to do,” said Rep. Eshoo.
The Silicon Valley congresswoman was the first elected official Blasey Ford told about her claims against Kavanaugh. She reached out back in July.
“My constituent called my office here in Palo Alto and we set up an appointment and she came in to meet with me,” says Eshoo.
That day, Blasey Ford wrote a letter repeating her allegations and her desire for confidentiality. Eshoo gave the letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, who shared it with the FBI, but no one else.
Blasey Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, says that was right.
“She’s very satisfied with how Dianne Feinstein handled this allegation,” says Katz.
It was only after the story was leaked to the press that Blasey Ford decided to reveal her identity and details of her claims.
“What she was concerned about was, obviously, that the individual that assaulted her was now a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States of America,” says Eshoo.
On Monday, the leader of Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, said the committee should wait at least long enough for an FBI report.
“It is now the FBI’s responsibility to investigate these claims, update the analysis to Judge Kavanaugh’s background, and report back to the Senate,” says Senator Schumer.
It’s not clear how long that would take in this case. Back in 1991, when Anita Hill made allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee, Justice Clarence Thomas, the FBI investigation only took three days.
Whenever the vote, the president says he’s confident in his nominee
“Oh I think he’s on track,” said Trump. “Yeah. I think he’s very much on track.”
Initially, it wasn’t clear that there would be a hearing or delay in the vote, but several senators who are key swing votes, including Susan Collins of Maine, said they need to see a hearing before the vote. Soon after that, the hearing was planned.