Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of raping her in an Arkansas hotel room in 1978, says she’s skeptical of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“I can remember when I was a fifteen year old girl. I can remember that if anything like that had happened to me, even though I was a very private person, I would have told somebody,” Broaddrick told Observer. “I cannot imagine a young girl not telling somebody for thirty years. It just doesn’t resonate with me.”
Ford’s story dates back 36 years to a house party in Montgomery County, Maryland where she says Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to assault her. Many Republicans, including President Trump, have questioned the lack of evidence and corroborating witnesses in Ford’s account.
Although Broaddrick, who supported Trump in the 2016 election, is wary of Ford’s narrative, she says survivors of sexual assault should never be denied the opportunity to tell their stories, and she believes it’s imperative that Ford be given a platform in Congress before Kavanaugh is sworn in as the next Supreme Court justice.
“Being a victim myself, any woman should have the right to come forward and say ‘Hey, this happened to me,'” Broaddrick told Observer. “But at the same time she must be vetted. We all know that. I feel like she should go ahead and testify or at least tell the Congress or committee her story so they’ll at least be able to hear from her.”
“I think that if it takes the FBI to do that, then do it,” continued Broaddrick, who endured questioning by Kenneth Starr during his investigation of Bill Clinton. “People who complain about how long it’s going to take and that people are stalling, I think the woman, even though I personally don’t believe the story, has a right to tell her story.”
Broaddrick says she relates to the public scrutiny Ford is facing. While she never received death threats like Kavanaugh’s accuser, she remembers being “attacked heavily by the press” and at one point being fearful for her life after a confrontation with her alleged perpetrator two weeks before he announced his presidential campaign in 1992.
“I had not been in the presence of that man since the rape and it shocked me to my bones,” Broaddrick recalled of the encounter, said to have occurred at a nursing home in Little Rock, Arkansas. “The most astounding thing about that day is that he knew where I was at that time in my life. And I became more conscious of my surroundings and where I was going and whether anyone was following me.”
Broaddrick’s reaction to Clinton’s appearance was visceral, and has informed her belief that, should Ford testify before Congress, her request to bar Kavanaugh from the room must be honored.
“If all of her accounts were true, and she really had a psychological and horrible reaction to that, I think they should be in separate rooms,” said Broaddrick. “I think it’s important for her to tell the people on this committee what happened to her. Everybody has her letter, but I just think it’s necessary for them to hear this come out of her mouth exactly like I did when I went before Ken Starr’s people. It was hard. There I sat in that room with the people and all these attorneys that I didn’t know talking about the most horrific event of my life. I cried, it was awful.”
Toward the end of our call, Broaddrick further empathized with Ford over why she waited decades before going public with the allegations, a sentiment she does not seem to hold for Monica Lewinsky, whom she slammed last year for her “deafening silence” on Clinton. She also conceded wanting to believe accusers and being “wrong before” on other issues.
“We both waited a long time. I waited twenty years. She’s waited thirty-six years,” said Broaddrick. “I think she must sit down and be sure of everything she’s saying; make sure it’s a truthful memory, the very best she can. But again, I’m not really believing of the woman. But I’ve been wrong before. I want to give a victim every benefit of the doubt. “