Who is Mark Judge, author of ‘Wasted’ and Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking buddy from high school?
The writer of ‘Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk’ is alleged to have been present when the Supreme Court nominee committed sexual assault
In the allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, one other name recurs: Mark Judge.
Christine Blasey Ford was the first woman to come forward to accuse US President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court of sexual misconduct earlier this month, throwing into doubt what had been his almost certain confirmation process.
Ford contended that Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend and author of Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, an autobiographical account of debauchery at the elite Washington boys school Georgetown Prep, was in the room when Kavanaugh forced himself on her at a party.
On Wednesday, Julie Swetnick, the third woman to come forward, said that Judge, along with Kavanaugh, was part of a group of young men who would “cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang-raped’.”
Kavanaugh has denied Ford and Swetnick’s accusations – as well as those of another woman, Deborah Ramirez, that while he and Ramirez were at Yale University he thrust his genitals in her face, and “caused her to touch it without her consent”.
Judge has also disputed Ford’s and Swetnick’s allegations, which both concern Kavanaugh’s behaviour in high school. But their claims have put the author – who in 2015 wrote about the “ambiguous middle ground” of sexual pursuit – firmly into the national spotlight.
Both Ford and Swetnick have urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to interview Judge under oath, with Swetnick saying he has “significant information concerning the conduct of Brett Kavanaugh in the 1980s, especially as it relates to his actions towards women”.
In an affidavit released on Wednesday, Swetnick said she had met Judge and Kavanaugh, whom she described as “extremely close friends”, at a series of parties in the early 1980s.
During that time, Swetnick said, she “witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys …” Swetnick said it was at one such party, with Judge and Kavanaugh present, that she was sexually assaulted.
Judge went into hiding earlier this month after Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, but The Washington Post tracked him down in Bethany Beach, Delaware, on Monday.
Judge would not speak to the paper beyond asking: “How’d you find me?”, but his own writings over the past two decades sketch a portrait of the man at the centre of Supreme Court nomination proceedings.
A recovering alcoholic, Judge wrote in Wasted, published in 1997, about a pact he and friends at Georgetown Prep made to consume 100 kegs of beer before graduation.
He describes a heavy drinking culture at the all-boys private school, and writes of one incident where a person named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” vomited in someone’s car and then “passed out on his way back from a party”.
Ford alleges it was at one of those parties that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Interviewed by the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard, Judge addressed the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Judge was asked if he witnessed any “roughhousing” with a female student during high school. Judge said he didn’t.
“I can’t. I can recall a lot of roughhousing with guys,” Judge said. “I don’t remember any of that stuff going on with girls.”
But Elizabeth Rasor, Judge’s girlfriend at Catholic University, said he had given her a very different account of life at Georgetown Prep.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Rasor said Judge had told her about an incident at high school when he and other boys took turns having sex with a drunk woman. Judge regarded it as fully consensual, Rasor told The New Yorker, adding that she was troubled by the story. Judge denied Rasor’s account.
According to a Washington Post profile, in recent years Judge has juggled writing with working in a record store, a liquor store and as a substitute teacher and house sitter.
He publishes only sporadically, but a 2015 article for Splice Today seems pertinent to the accusations Kavanaugh faces, and the calls for Judge to testify.
In the piece Judge wrote about the seemingly feminist-inspired decline of the traditional alpha male, including changing attitudes to sex.
“A man must be able to read a woman’s signals, and it’s a good thing that feminism is teaching young men that no means no and yes means yes,” Judge wrote.
“But there’s also that ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her.
“And if that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion.”