Professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, testified on Wednesday, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged attack on her had left her «afraid and ashamed.”
Mr Kavanaugh has denied allegations by Ms Ford, along with those of a number of other women, and is also due to testify.
Professor Ford described how Mr Kavanaugh and a friend allegedly assaulted her in a bedroom during a small gathering at a house in a Washington DC suburb in the summer of 1982.
Mr Kavanaugh, 53, denied the allegations «immediately, unequivocally, and categorically», along with all other accusations against him.
Donald Trump has called the hearing an «important day in the history of our country.”
Who is Christine Blasey Ford?
Prof Ford is an American professor of psychology at Palo Alto University and research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
She is widely published and well-respected in her field.
According to her Wikipedia page, Prof Ford grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC.
FOLLOW THE HEARING LIVE
Throughout her career, she has co-authored numerous books and articles on psychological topics, including depression, child abuse and the September 11 attacks.
Prof Ford lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband and their two sons.
She is a registered Democrat.
Prof Ford came forward with her allegations in July 2018, after Mr Kavanaugh was reported to be on Mr Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist.
The nine-member Supreme Court plays a vital role in US political life, as it has the final say on US law.
Today, Prof Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee in her prepared testimony: «I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified.
“I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.»
She said Mr Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge locked her in the bedroom, tried to remove her clothing, pinned her to a bed and groped her when she was 15 and he was 17.
Both men were «drunkenly laughing», she said.
She added: «Brett’s assault on me drastically altered my life. For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details.»
Under questioning by a Democratic senator, she said her most vivid memory was «the laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense».
She added that «they were laughing with each other — two friends having a really good time with one another».
In an answer to another Democratic senator’s question about claims of mistaken identity, Prof Ford said she was «100 percent” certain it was Mr Kavanaugh who had assaulted her.
The 21 senators on the committee were given five minutes each to ask her questions.
The 10 Democrats all posed questions themselves, many paying tribute to Prof Ford’s bravery in coming forward.
The 11 Republicans deferred most of their questions to a lawyer.
Prof Ford will reportedly leave the room before Mr Kavanaugh enters. Prof Ford had earlier asked not to be in the same room as the judge.