Ford friend says she doesn't recall party where alleged assault occurred

Ford friend says she doesn't recall party where alleged assault occurred
© Anna Moneymaker

A longtime friend of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, says she does not know the Supreme Court nominee or remember attending a party with him.

Leland Keyser, who characterized herself as a friend of Ford's, said through a lawyer that she "does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”

Keyser's statement — which was circulated by the White House and given to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday night — comes as Republican Senate staffers have been working to identify and interview potential witnesses to the alleged incident.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to protest at a high school party in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing and asked to testify to "clear [his] name."

Senate staffers, according to CNN, reached out to Keyser this week.

Ford told The Washington Post that Keyser was at the party. Though Keyser says she has "no recollection" of being at a party that Kavanaugh attended, she told The Post that she believes Ford's allegation.

Debra Katz, a lawyer for Ford, dismissed Keyser not remembering, noting that Ford did not discuss the alleged incident publicly for years.

“It’s not surprising that Ms Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it. It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her," Katz added in a statement to NBC News.

But the White House immediately seized on the statement, adding Keyser was the latest individual who did not remember the party where Ford says the alleged sexual assault happened.

“One week ago, Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others. Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party," Kerri Kupec, a spokeswoman for the White House, said in a statement.