Author Ronan Farrow is standing by his bombshell New Yorker story of another sexual assault alleged against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a report from The New York Times cast doubt on it.
Farrow said he and co-author Jane Mayer received multiple direct accounts from witnesses.
‘We did receive, however, several direct accounts from people who said they were told right after or saw her describing it right after, and who independently of Ms. Ramirez had the same fact pattern about Kavanaugh doing this,’ Farrow told CNN.
Ronan Farrow defended his story on Debra Ramirez’s allegation: ‘We wouldn’t run this if we didn’t have people who heard at the time and found her credible’
Debbie Ramirez (above), a resident of Colorado, has come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. She says the incident took place during their freshman year at Yale University
In a bombshell story on Sunday evening, Farrow and Mayer reported on Debra Ramirez’s charge that a drunken college-aged Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her face during a dorm party at Yale when they were both students there.
Kavanaugh denied the allegation.
But Farrow pushed back against a New York Times report that cast doubt on Ramirez’s story.
‘The point I want to make here is this. It’s not accurate to say those who knew him at the time dispute this. We talked to a roommate who said he was indeed frequently drunk and he took part in activity that is not surprised of this claim and found this woman credible. We wouldn’t run this if we didn’t have people who heard at the time and found her credible,’ he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The New York Times reported that the paper had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate Ramirez’s story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge.
The paper also claims Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates to ask if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain it was Kavanaugh.
In the New Yorker piece, Ramirez acknowledged ‘significant gaps in her memories’ and admitted she had been drinking at the party.
Farrow, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on sexual assault allegations agains Harvey Weinstein, told CNN there were several reasons he believed Ramirez.
‘The fact that she took several days to carefully think about whether she wanted to cast herself into this storm is acknowledgment that there were gaps in her memory, which is often the case with experiences that involve alcohol, and this is not a woman that is behaving in a way that would suggests she has a agenda, or making something up,’ he said.
He noted to ABC: ‘This is not the level of behavior of somebody fabricating something.’
He added: ‘We take reporting of this type extremely serious. The evidentiary basis of this, and the number of witnesses at the time is strong. The deal with sexual assault claims is very often that there aren’t multiple people willing to say they witnessed it in the room, and the individuals who were most primary to this are people she alleged we are egging Brett Kavanaugh on, and those were the ones that signed that statement you saw.’
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Farrow’s co-author of the piece, Jane Mayer, told ‘CBS This Morning’ she’s ‘100 percent comfortable with the story.’
‘We started checking further, and we found classmates had been talking about this for weeks and months since July. There have been an e-mail chain of Yale classmates of Kavanaugh talking about will this thing come out,’ Mayer said.
She added: ‘I’m absolutely 100 percent comfortable with the story. I’ve done a lot of reporting on it, talked to numerous other people. And the fact that Kavanaugh’s friends who have signed a letter for him are also the people that she identifies as being in the party, sit’s not surprising if they don’t want to say more. They’re basically saying they don’t remember.’
In a story posted Sunday night on its website, The New Yorker reports that the claim dates to the 1983-84 academic year, Kavanaugh’s freshman year at Yale University.
The magazine says Ramirez remembers that Kavanaugh exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.
She told the magazine she only came forward now because she had been drinking during the evening and admits there are ‘gaps in her memory’ when recollecting the story.
In a statement provided by the White House, Kavanaugh denies the event ever happened.
Kavanaugh says the event ‘did not happen’ and that the allegation is ‘a smear, plain and simple.’
A White House spokeswoman adds in a second statement that the allegation is ‘designed to tear down a good man.’