Shelby Talcott on September 17, 2019

New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin said Tuesday morning that one of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers was traumatized by the alleged sexual misconduct, even though she doesn’t remember the incident occurring.

An article published Sunday by Pogrebin and Kate Kelly accused Kavanaugh of putting his penis in Deborah Ramirez’s face. The article, prefacing their book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” received pushback for omitting the fact that the alleged victim of a second sexual incident did not remember it.

Pogrebin suggested Tuesday that this may have been because the accuser was too drunk, but added during an interview on “Mornings on the Mall” with Vince Coglianese and Mary Walter that the alleged event “made a lasting formative impact” on the unnamed second accuser.

“I wanted to sort of get ahead of that argument and try to explain why something that maybe somebody of tougher skin…that would not have been so impactful, why it was so damaging to her,” Pogrebin said when discussing why she wrote the NYT  original tweet that called the sexual misconduct “harmless fun.”

Pogrebin said this after admitting that the accuser did not remember the new allegation ever occurring.

“I think it’s a distinction to say she has no memory – I mean basically, yes, she has said to friends that she has no memory of this, but also importantly, and sort of what’s equally sort of real is that we have a witness…” Pogrebin noted.


“I had a feeling that people would say ‘what’s the big deal? This was a drunken party. Everybody behaved, you know, badly, in ways they’re not proud of. Maybe she [Ramirez] could man up and this isn’t necessarily a life-altering event,’” Pogrebin said.

“I wanted to get ahead of that and try to explain that for someone like Deborah Ramirez coming from the world that she did, who already sort of felt like she was behind the eight-ball when she got to Yale and had a sense of inadequacy and insecurity” she said, adding that “having this happen and have people laugh at her because of it and sort of her gullibility only confirmed the fear she had coming in, and therefore made a very lasting formative impact on her.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article inaccurately stated that Ramirez could not remember her the details of her accusations. It has been updated to reflect that the statement applied to an unnamed second accuser.

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