Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh issued a tearful apology to Renate Schroeder Dolphin for an oblique reference to her in his old high school yearbook, which many reports said had been an inside sexual joke among him and his several other male friends.
“One of our good female friends who we admire and went to dances with had her name used on the yearbook page with the term alumnus,” he said. “That yearbook reference was clumsily intended to show affection that she was one of us. But in this circus, the media interpreted that the term was related to sex. It was not related to sex.”
“I am so sorry to her for that yearbook reference,” he added.
The moment was a rare bit of contrition from the judge, whose defiant and often tearful opening statement broadly denied all of the accusations leveled against him. Dolphin was one of the women who signed a letter in support of Kavanaugh before today’s hearing and she only learned about the inside reference days before being contacted about it by the New York Times, the paper reported.
“Sexual assault is horrific. It is morally wrong. It is illegal. It is contrary to my religious faith. And it contradicts the core promise of this Nation that all people are created equal and entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Kavanaugh. ” I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.”
Throughout his testimony, Kavanaugh also denied other graphic charges from two other women who have also come forward to publicly accuse him of sexual misconduct while drunk in the 1980s.
Frequently fighting back tears, Kavanaugh was often angry and said the charges against him had “destroyed” his family and that it was a “circus” designed to get “revenge” for his work investigating Bill Clinton back in the 1990s.
Earlier in the day, the same committee heard testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, whose accusation of sexual assault by Kavanaugh has thrown his Supreme Court nomination into turmoil.
“Brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. He had a hard time because he was so drunk,” Ford told senators in her opening statement while also choking up. “I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. This was what terrified me the most.”