In an apparent effort to bolster Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh and simultaneously capitalize on the pending sentencing of Bill Cosby, the Washington Post has published a “brave” piece by Deanna Paul which seeks to conflate the two. In it, Paul offers a lengthy retelling of the story of Kristina Ruehli, one of Cosby’s many alleged victims. Yes, most of them are still technically “alleged” because the comedian has only been convicted of charges involving a single woman. But for more reasons than we can count, there is little reason to doubt Ruehli’s story.
But this piece keeps weaving back and forth, seeking to draw similarities between the two women. It ends with a heartwarming word of encouragement to Ford.
But the media, [Ruehli] said, was fighting to tell her story, not attack it. And she had a buffer between 2005 and 2014 — when she came forward anonymously and when she identified herself — to become “resilient.”
Nine years later, she was no longer frightened. Ford has had less than a week.
Ruehli said the Senate is putting “politics ahead of a very brave decision.” “It was so similar — what Christine Blasey Ford and I both experienced. A good part of [Ford] is probably calm, too, because she knows she’s telling the truth.”
Ruehli is a very sympathetic figure and for good reason. Her story of having a drink with Cosby which resulted in her passing out and waking up naked in bed with him was a true horror show. Beyond that, it was nearly identical to stories told by dozens of other women – at least sixty and possibly more than one hundred by some counts – who had fallen into Cosby’s orbit. But while it’s easy to see how she might feel some kinship with Ford after reading a few headlines, this is a misguided attempt at conflation.
Ruehli’s story was very specific and she had told other friends in the industry about it before. She knew the time, the date and the location. There was no question as to the identity of her abuser because he was one of the most famous faces in the country. She didn’t take her story public because she felt (correctly) that nobody would take her side and her career would be ruined.
Compare that to Ford’s story. Brett Kavanaugh was a high school kid at the time of the alleged party attack, one of many other prep school boys in her orbit. Supposedly nobody else learned of the story for more than twenty years. Other people in the same industry were able to place Ruehli as having been in contact with Cosby and seen his interest in her. Nobody supposedly at the Maryland party can remember the event even taking place, including one of Ford’s lifelong friends.
When Ruehli finally went public it was to support some of the dozens of other women who had been almost identically victimized by Cosby and see him hopefully brought to justice. Ford was, until last night. the only person making any such allegations about Kavanaugh and it was over an alleged incident which she admits couldn’t result in any sort of prosecution today.
This is simply a dishonest approach to this story and it’s an insult to all of the women who were actually victimized by Bill Cosby. The two situations aren’t remotely the same and it’s disrespectful to attempt to merge them in this fashion.