President Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis wrote about her own sexual assault experience to defend Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
Davis’ story was published in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday, in which she alleged that she was raped by a music industry executive some 40 years ago when she had thought she would be attending a professional meeting. Much like Ford, Davis said she can’t remember some of the details.
The op-ed appeared on the same day Trump publicly questioned why Ford didn’t report the alleged assault when it happened.
Davis said she couldn’t remember details like the month the incident occurred, nor whether she had declined cocaine that was offered at the meeting.
“What happened next, though, is indelible,” she wrote. “He crossed the room. There was a dark-green carpet, but his footsteps seemed loud, hard. He was against me, on top of me — so quickly — with his hands under my skirt and his mouth on mine, that I froze. I lay there as he pushed himself inside me. The leather couch stuck to my skin, made noises beneath me. His breath smelled like coffee and stale bread. He didn’t use a condom.”
Ford has said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were in high school more than 30 years ago, but she “does not remember some key details of the incident,” according to The Washington Post. Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s schoolmate who was allegedly also in the room, deny Ford’s allegations.
Davis argued that during traumatic events, memory works differently.
“Ford has been criticized for the things she doesn’t remember, like the address where she says the assault happened, or the time of year, or whose house it was. But her memory of the attack itself is vivid and detailed. His hand over her mouth, another young man piling on, her fear that maybe she’d die there, unable to breathe,” she wrote. “That’s what happens: Your memory snaps photos of the details that will haunt you forever, that will change your life and live under your skin. It blacks out other parts of the story that really don’t matter much.”
Like Ford, Davis said she remained quiet about the incident, writing that she “never told anyone for decades.”
Davis’ op-ed comes amid pressure for Ford to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide details of the alleged incident.
Senate Republicans and Trump have denied requests by Democrats and Ford’s legal team to assign an FBI investigation into the incident. Trump, in a series of tweets Friday, deviated from his previously measured comments about Ford, claiming that if the attack she alleges “was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities.”
Davis, in her op-ed, called Ford’s request for an FBI investigation “brave.”
“Perhaps the aging men who are poised to interrogate her, unless they hide behind surrogates, should pause for a moment and think about the courage it takes for a woman to say: Here is my memory. It has haunted me for decades. It changed my life. You need to know about it now because of what is at stake for this country,” she argued. “Requesting an investigation into the incident isn’t a big ask. Unless they just want her to go away. Which is, by the way, one reason that women are scared to speak up.”