US

Mark Judge Says He Avoids Public Speaking Due To Depression, Anxiety

(Photo credit should read JIM BOURG/AFP/Getty Images)

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

Mark Judge, the high school classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter that did not want to speak publicly about the accusation against him and Kavanaugh in part due to his struggles with anxiety and depression.

“As I stated in my attorney, Barbara Van Gelder’s September 18, 2018, letter, I did not ask to be involved in this matter nor did anyone ask me to be involved,” Judge wrote in a letter released Thursday evening. We have told the Committee that I do not want to comment about these events publicly.”

“As a recovering alcoholic and a cancer survivor, I have struggled with depression and anxiety,” he wrote. “As a result, I avoid public speaking.”

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford claims Judge was present when Kavanaugh allegedly attempted to assault her in the summer of 1982 at a residence in Montgomery County.

Judge had previously given another statement to the Committee through his lawyer denying Ford’s claims.

“Mark seemed ambivalent, at times urging Brett on and at times telling him to stop. A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not,” she testified Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kavanaugh denied Ford’s claims when he testified later in the afternoon.

Judge wrote that he never sought to get involved in Kavanaugh’s nomination nor did anyone ever ask him to get involved.

“Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school, but we have not spoken directly in several years. I do not recall the events described by Dr. Ford in her testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee today. I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”

“I am knowingly submitting this letter under penalty of felony.”

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Kavanaugh at the hearing Thursday about the 1997 book Judge wrote titled “Wasted” and if the character, Bart O’Kavanaugh, was him. Kavanaugh responded that Leahy would have to ask Judge himself but that Judge’s book was a work of fiction, his friend wrote, as a means of therapy to help him reach sobriety.

Chairman Grassley’s Committee Office released a statement Thursday night with Judge’s letter saying, “After learning of Dr. Ford’s identity from a Washington Post report on September 16, Grassley’s investigative counsels reached out to the other individuals allegedly at the party—Mark Judge, Patrick J. Smyth, and Leland Ingham Keyser,” and noted that all three “submitted statements to the Senate under penalty of felony denying any knowledge of the events described by Dr. Ford.”

The committee is scheduled to vote Friday morning on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Follow Kerry on Twitter