KUSA — Deborah Ramirez had no plans to publicly accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct – but then a prominent reporter who has pursued multiple stories about sexual misconduct called her, and she ultimately agreed to talk, an attorney who has represented her confirmed to 9Wants to Know.
And that story – specifically, her accusation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a drunken dorm party when they were Yale classmates – is now a national headline as a political battle unfolds over Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
The story Ramirez related came a week after a California college professor accused Kavanaugh of groping her, attempting to pull off her clothes and clamping his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams at a house party that occurred in the early 1980s when they were both high school students.
Ramirez’s story likely would have remained where she wanted to keep it – in the past – had it not been for that phone call on Sept. 17, the attorney, Stan Garnett, told 9Wants to Know.
Ramirez was at her desk at the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services, where she is the senior volunteer coordinator, when she took the call. On the other end of the line was Ronan Farrow, the New Yorker writer who has broken multiple stories in the past year that unearthed allegations of sexual misconduct against moguls in the news media, politics and Hollywood, including CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Garnett, the former Boulder district attorney now in private practice, represented Ramirez through her discussions with Farrow but is now transitioning off her case. She is now being represented by Boulder attorney John Clune and a Washington D.C. lawyer, William Pittard.
In the story Farrow co-authored with New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, Ramirez described a drunken party during the 1983-84 school year in which she alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself, thrusting his genitals in her face. She acknowledged that she was intoxicated after a drinking game and that there are gaps in her memory, according to the story, but is certain of Kavanaugh’s actions, the New Yorker reported.
It was the culmination of 11 days of unfolding drama surrounding allegations against Kavanaugh, who has denied any wrongdoing.
On Sept. 12, U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced publicly that she had heard from an individual who had information about Kavanaugh and that she had forwarded it to the FBI for possible investigation. The individual had requested anonymity, Feinstein said, and was not named in news reports – but it is now known that it was Ford.
On Sept. 14, Farrow and Mayer published a story about the woman and her allegations – specifically detailing the alleged sexual assault. Again, Ford was not named.
On Sept. 16, the Washington Post reported that Ford was the woman who had made the allegations after she had agreed to be publicly identified.
It was the next day that Farrow called Ramirez, Garnett confirmed to 9Wants to Know. It is not clear how Farrow got her name or learned of her allegation.
Around the same time -- it's not clear exactly when -- a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s staff passed information about Ramirez to a staff member for U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat.
On Sept. 18, a member of Bennet’s staff contacted Garnett in an effort to find an attorney for Ramirez. In a statement issued hours after the publication of the New Yorker article about Ramirez, Laurie Cipriano, a spokeswoman for Bennet’s office, said that Garnett had been contacted and subsequently met with Ramirez “to work through how to analyze and present her allegations.”
Cipriano told 9NEWS that Bennet's office "did not hear from Ramirez directly," and that it was Garnett who "reached out directly to Ramirez."
Garnett confirmed that his first contact with Ramirez was on Sept. 18. He declined to discuss his conversations with Ramirez.
In a statement e-mailed to 9Wants to Know, Garnett said he represented Martinez “through last Sunday and the interview with the New Yorker.”
“She did not seek out this publicity and asked me to represent her during that process, which I did,” Garnett wrote, in part.
Garnett also said it was understood that if there was need for an attorney in Washington that he would “bring in co-counsel and transition off the case, a process that is just about complete.”
Now Ramirez finds herself in the middle of a firestorm – accused by Kavanaugh supporters of being part of an effort by Democrats to smear Kavanaugh, her former Yale classmate.
Kavanaugh has denied both Ramirez’s and Ford’s allegations.
Clune, an attorney who has handled a number of high-profile sexual misconduct cases, called for an FBI investigation of Ramirez’s allegations in a series of postings Tuesday on his Twitter account.
Clune also said he’d been in contact with the Senate Judiciary Committee “to determine the best process to provide senators with additional information.”
However, many things about Ramirez’s assertions remained undecided Tuesday – it’s not clear, for instance, whether the FBI will investigate or whether she will be asked to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee is scheduled to hear from Ford and Kavanaugh on Thursday
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh's nomination for Friday.
Contact 9NEWS reporter Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: email@example.com or 303-871-1862.