Lawmakers contend with new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

A woman who knew Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when he was in high school has alleged that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her in the early 1980s, a report from The New Yorker found Friday.

The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, came forward when President Trump nominated Kavanaugh back in July, providing Democratic lawmakers with information that led to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) referring the matter to the FBI on Thursday. The allegation describes an incident during a party; the woman accuses Kavanaugh of holding her down and attempting to force himself on her. She says that he, along with a classmate of his, had been drinking, and turned up music to muffle her protests before she escaped the room.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation," Kavanaugh told The New Yorker in a statement. "I did not do this back in high school or at any time." Kavanaugh's former classmate said, "I have no recollection of that."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released a letter Friday signed by 65 women who knew Kavanaugh when he attended Georgetown Prep, an all-boys school in Maryland. The women signed to support a statement that says Kavanaugh "has always treated women with decency and respect."

A White House representative called the allegations an "11th hour attempt to delay" Kavanaugh's confirmation, while critics raised the question of how the GOP gathered 65 signatures from Kavanaugh's distant acquaintances so quickly without prior knowledge of the allegations. The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Kavanaugh's nomination next week. Read more at The New Yorker.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Summer Meza

Summer is news editor at, and has previously written for Newsweek and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Santa Clara University, she now lives in New York with two cats.