- Mark Judge is Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s high school friend and was named in allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
- Christine Blasey Ford says Judge was in the room when the alleged assault took place.
- Judge claims the alleged assault never happened and said it wouldn’t fit Kavanaugh’s character.
- But Judge has come under scrutiny over past writings on rape, masculinity, and alcoholism.
- Judge issued a statement claiming he doesn’t remember the alleged incident and rejected calls from Democrats for him to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The allegations against Kavanaugh could derail his Supreme Court nomination.
The allegations that have upended the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have also opened scrutiny on another man: Mark Judge, who Christine Blasey Ford claims was also in the room when she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager.
Ford claims that Judge laughed as Kavanaugh assaulted her and assisted him, claiming both were “highly inebriated” at the time.
“Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room,” Ford said in a letter to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help,” Ford added. “They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.”
Ford said she was only able to escape the situation when Judge jumped onto the bed and the “pile toppled.”
Julie Swetnick, who’s represented by Attorney Michael Avenatti, on Wednesday brought forward additional allegations against Kavanaugh and Judge.
Swetnick in a sworn declaration alleged that Kavanaugh and Judge were involved the gang rape of girls at parties when they were in high school. She also claims they were present at a party where she was gang raped and is calling on the FBI to investigate her allegations.
Judge denies Ford’s claims
Judge, like Kavanaugh, denies the alleged assault occurred and has claimed such an act would be contrary to Kavanaugh’s character.
“It is not who he is,” Judge told The New York Times, adding that school they both attended instilled within them values that would’ve urged against such behavior.
Kavanaugh and Judge both went to Georgetown Prep, an elite, all-boys high school in the Washington, DC, area.
Judge, an author, filmmaker, and journalist, has floated some controversial ideas and opinions in his writings.
In 1983, for example, one of Judge’s high school yearbook quotes read: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.”
His social media accounts have apparently been deleted in recent days, however, but many of his writings are still available for access.
Judge issued a statement after Ford’s allegations were made public claiming he had no memory of the alleged assault and rejected calls from Democrats for him to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I have no more information to offer the Committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford’s letter,” Judge said in the statement.
Barbara Van Gelder, Judge’s attorney, on Wednesday told Mother Jones her client also denies Swetnick’s allegations and is not “publicly talking about these matters during the pendency of the confirmation process.”
Judge has reportedly fled the Washington, DC, area and is holed up in a beach house in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
Kavanaugh and Ford are both set to testify on her allegations before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Ford’s legal team said her client has been subjected to death threats and forced to relocate her family since coming forward.
Another Kavanaugh accuser, Deborah Ramirez, has also expressed a willingness to testify.
Judge wrote a memoir on his alcoholism in high school, referencing a friend named ‘Bart O’Kavanaugh’
Years after high school, Judge wrote a memoir, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk.” It chronicled his struggles with alcoholism while a teenager, painting his days at Georgetown Prep as filled with parties and black-out drunk nights.
Judge changed names in the book to protect people’s privacy, but he at one point referenced a friend named “Bart O’Kavanaugh.” The character was described as someone who got so drunk he “puked in someone’s car the other night.”
Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, earlier this month referenced Judge’s writings on his alcoholism when discussing the alleged sexual assault.
“My client had a beer. … The men were stumbling drunk, one only needs to look at the writings of Mark Judge — who was the other person present — to know that he wrote … that they were all drinking so heavily that they would black out repeatedly,” she said during an appearance on CBS “This Morning.”
Judge once wrote an op-ed criticizing women who ‘dress like prostitutes’
Judge, who has written opinion pieces for an array of publications, including The Daily Caller, in November 2013 wrote an article about rape for the online magazine Acculturated that has come under scrutiny in light of Ford’s allegations.
“Feminists argue that no means no, and that men need to understand that,” Judge wrote at the time. “There’s never any excuse to rape, a crime that I think is almost akin to murder because the rapist kills a part of the human soul. And yet what women wear and their body language also send signals about their sexuality.”
Judge went on to say that women who “dress like prostitutes” send out certain signals and use their bodies for “cheap theatrics.”
In a separate article written by Judge for SpliceToday in September 2015, he argued it’s good for young men to understand that ” target=”_blank”no means no” but also said there’s an “ambiguous middle ground” in which a woman seems interested and a man must “prove himself to her.”
“If that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion,” Judge added.
Judge once said Barack Obama is ‘the first female president’
In an August 2013 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Judge also offered some of his views on masculinity and suggested former first lady Michelle Obama was the real “man” in her relationship with then-President Barack Obama. In this context, Judge expressed a longing for the days former President George W. Bush was in the White House.
“Barack Obama is the first female president,” Judge wrote.
“With her love of violent movies, her fixation on fitness, and death glare that appears when she doesn’t like what she’s hearing, Michelle is actually more man than her husband,” Judge added. “Oh for the days when President George W. Bush gave his wife Laura a loving but firm pat on the backside in public. The man knew who was boss.”
Judge didn’t respond to repeated requests from Business Insider for an interview.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.