Longtime Friend Defends Kavanaugh Against Sexual Assault Allegations

Oct 4, 2018
Originally published on October 4, 2018 11:46 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All right, we're going to hear now from a longtime friend of Brett Kavanaugh. Her name is Missy Bigelow Carr. She joined 64 other women in signing a letter supporting Brett Kavanaugh last month. They sent that letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Chuck Grassley. And Missy Bigelow Carr joins us now.

Thank you so much for being with us.

MISSY BIGELOW CARR: Hi. Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: How well do you know Brett Kavanaugh?

CARR: I know him well. I mean, we were in a group of friends back since high school, so I've actually known him for 35 years. But as life takes you on different paths in your mid-20s and things like that, you know, we sort of lost touch, except for on holidays or rare occasions. I feel confident that, you know, the guy that I knew back in high school and in college and into my early 20s is the same person that he is today. So I feel that I know him well enough to speak on his behalf.

MARTIN: And you believe that person could not have committed the sexual assault that Christine Blasey Ford alleges?

CARR: No, absolutely not. Absolutely not.

MARTIN: Did you hear her testimony?

CARR: I did.

MARTIN: What did you think? Did you find her credible?

CARR: Personally, not really. No. I didn't think that Rachel Mitchell - There were questions that I felt that went unasked to sort of dig a little bit deeper into her accusations. So no, I didn't necessarily find her that credible.

MARTIN: What about Brett Kavanaugh's testimony? I mean, another friend of his from Yale Law School - his name is Mark Osler - signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh back in August. But then after the Kavanaugh testimony, he withdrew his support, saying that he didn't like Kavanaugh's partisan attacks on Democratic senators in particular. Did you find any of Brett Kavanaugh's testimony troubling?

CARR: I did not. I found it emotional, as did many of my friends and people that know me and know my support of Brett, who texted me or emailed me or spoke to me how they felt it was emotional, that they were crying in a lot of cases, sobbing in other cases. It was an emotional thing to see. I think it was a guy who was, you know, fighting for his reputation, feeling that it was him against the world, which I think it has been. And I think that the emotion that he exhibited at that time is something you might expect from anybody who felt they were unfairly charged and under attack, trying to save their family, their reputation, their name, their career, their entire life. So I found it to be very credible and compelling and emotional, like I said.

MARTIN: If he did commit an act of sexual misconduct, assault or otherwise, when he was in high school or college, do you believe it would be disqualifying - should be disqualifying?

CARR: I think that would depend on what - I mean, I guess, essentially, it really depends. There are so many degrees. And I think now we're in a day where, you know, times are a little bit different than they were back then and what those accusations were. But I think you have to look at the entire life of somebody, not something they did as a teenager. You know, back in those days, there was certainly drinking of beer. That's when you're doing these kind of things and stuff that - you have to take - an incident in high school, it's kind of hard to believe that, at this level of our federal government, that that's what we're looking at to try and disqualify somebody from this position.

MARTIN: Let me ask you, as a result of the public debate over this, we're seeing more women come forward with their own stories of sexual assault. Just yesterday, former CBS news anchor Connie Chung wrote an op-ed about her own assault 50 years ago, when she was a college student. There have been numerous of these testimonials coming out. What do you make of them - as someone who defends Brett Kavanaugh, who is at the center of all this?

CARR: Well, I think that someone - one woman's experience or - because there are other experiences - and certainly, women have had these assault experiences. And we know that they go unreported in a lot of cases and things like that. But that on its own, on its face doesn't make Brett Kavanaugh or any man guilty of doing what they - if they say they don't.

I mean, in our country, we have due process. And you are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. And this situation has been the complete opposite of that, where he was presumed innocent based on a single accusation, starting with it being anonymous. Then the accusation had a face and a name to it. Then there were four witnesses, all who could not corroborate that story.

MARTIN: But have you ever had any friends who have had this happen to them? Do you have people in your life who have suffered a sexual assault?

CARR: I'm sure that I do, yeah.

MARTIN: And how many men do you know who have ever been falsely accused?

CARR: I don't - they haven't told me who they're accusing. So I know it's a very small percentage. But that does - it's about, I think, 10 percent of the cases, I think, the data shows. It just doesn't mean that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty because 90 percent of the men who are accused are guilty. There are men who are accused of things, and they're not guilty. We can look at UVA. You can look at - was it the Duke lacrosse? You know, there are instances. And frankly, this one is a very public one. The timing of this was incredibly suspect. There's a lot of holes in the stories of Dr. Ford. There's - Ramirez is barely credible. The New York Times couldn't even corroborate any of it.

MARTIN: Knowing women who have endured this, you know that there are - it is common to have holes in one's memory, that you can't recount, necessarily, the address where it happened...

CARR: Well, there's - holes are one thing. But lies are other things (laughter). I mean, you know, fear of flying - not true. The second door on the house - again, the data, the history shows that was - the second door was put on four years before the therapy session that apparently was about this incident. There were a lot of things, like I said in the testimony, that Rachel Mitchell did not follow up on, that, you know, now are coming out after the fact, that - you know - are holes in her story.

MARTIN: I mean, the fact is we still don't - we do not know. It is true that we don't have conclusive evidence either way. We may never. But I just wonder, in closing, is there any part of you that wonders, what if I'm wrong? What if he did do this?

CARR: No, there actually isn't. And it's just not enough in our country to make an accusation against somebody - anybody for any job, any position or just for their life, without having some corroboration. You know, maybe the lesson is that women, if these things happen to you, need to either report them, confide in somebody, something like that so that, you know, you have a strong case. But that's not the case here. And in all three of these instances - one was more salacious than the next - there is no corroboration.

MARTIN: We will have to leave it there.

CARR: OK.

MARTIN: But we appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Missy Bigelow Carr, friend of Brett Kavanaugh's.

Thank you so much for your time.

CARR: Thank you for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.