Her studies first brought her West, but for Christine Margaret Blasey Ford, the move to
Born into a well-off family in Montgomery County, Maryland, Ford has said she spent years working to recover from an assault as a young girl in that world of prep school parties – by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, she would disclose years later.
Long before she decided to come forward, Ford, now 51, had built a new life for herself in Malibu, Honolulu and the San Francisco Bay area, embracing academia, surfing, cheering on the Stanford Cardinals football team and taking in outdoor rock concerts.
Ford settled in the Silicon Valley in the 1990s, when the first wave of the tech boom was transforming lives around her and startups were replacing peach orchards.
She began working as a research psychologist and biostatistician at Stanford University, one of the most elite universities in the country.
Family home: Christine Blasey Ford lives with her husband Russell and their two children in this four-bedroom home valued at $3.3 million, which they have owned since 2007, when they bought it for $787,000. They also own a Santa Cruz beach house
Pressure: Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and tried to rip off her swimsuit at a party when she was 15 have left him fighting for his Supreme Court nomination
She later was hired as a professor in a consortium between Stanford and Palo Alto University.
Soon, she married her husband Russell Biddle Ford in a nearby coastal town, and they bought a classic Eichler home in Palo Alto and had two sons.
Stanford graduate Ford, 56, works in northern California’s booming tech industry and is listed on LinkedIn as being a principal mechanical engineer at Triple Ring Technologies which is based in nearby Newark.
Like his wife, court records show little contact with the law despite Kavanaugh’s nomination now looming large in both their lives.
In Ford’s case, he has just four traffic infringements ranging from missing a stop sign to running a red light between 2003 and 2011 and all of them in Santa Cruz County. His wife’s last publicly recorded traffic violation was in 1984.
The couple still live in their four bedroom Palo Alto home – valued at $3.3 million but purchased in 2007 for $1.4 million, a reflection of the extraordinary rise in house prices in Silicon Valley – but on Wednesday morning, camera crews could still be seen outside the property.
Neighbors said Blasey Ford and her family left the property on Sunday – destination unknown; precisely the time that she went public.
Christine Blasey Ford also owns this Santa Cruz beach house. The couple bought it for $787,000 in 2007 and it is now valued at just over $1 million
One of the views of the Santa Cruz bay a short walk from Ford’s beach house
They described the mother-of-two as friendly and pleasant to talk to but living life in a whirlwind of teaching classes, childcare and days spent surfing on nearby Pacific coast beaches.
Neighbor Jeff Huang, 45, told DailyMail.com: ‘They are very nice people – very friendly. I see them about once every two weeks; she always seems to be very busy.’
John Feradin, 84, who lives opposite Blasey Ford and her family, added: ‘She’s a very nice lady and they’re a nice family – lovely kids.
‘They love surfing but they’re busy – when you’ve got two kids, a husband and a good job, of course you’re busy all the time. That’s life.’
‘She is very friendly, outgoing and brilliant, and she is a great mother,’ said clinical psychologist Erin Heinemeyer, a mentee of Ford’s who is also a friend.
‘I know in general she supports women’s rights, and she often stands up for students, and she had expressed concerns to me about other students who might be struggling.’
The smaller three-bedroom beachside property she owns in Santa Cruz was similarly deserted when DailyMail.com visited Tuesday with the student renting the home during term-time saying he hasn’t heard from Blasey Ford for two weeks.
The couple bought it for $787,000 in 2007 and it is now valued at just over $1 million.
Months after anonymously contacting her elected officials, Ford went public on Sunday telling The Washington Post that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a Maryland house party in the early 1980s and tried to take her clothes off.
Husband: Russell Ford, 56, lives a discreet life as a robotics engineer in Silicon Valley
He put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream, she said, and she feared he might inadvertently kill her. She said she was around 15 at the time and he would have been about 17.
Friends who knew her say she struggled with the decision to come forward.
‘She clearly has nothing to gain and much to lose by going public with her story,’ said Jim Gensheimer, a friend of Ford’s.
‘I know from things she has told me, including her need to have more than one exit door in her bedroom to prevent her from being trapped, that this event was serious enough to have a lasting impact on her life.’
Through the White House, Kavanaugh issued a statement saying he ‘categorically and unequivocally’ denied the allegation.
‘I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man. Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened,’ President Donald Trump said Wednesday. ‘I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on.’
The allegation has shaken up the battle over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and Republicans are calling for a public hearing with both accuser and accused testifying.
But lawyers for Ford say that she wants an FBI investigation of her allegation in advance of a Judiciary Committee hearing set for Monday.
The lawyers said in a letter that Ford wants to cooperate with the panel. But they say that in the days since she gone public with her allegation, she has been the target of ‘vicious harassment and even death threats.’ Her family has relocated, they said.
An FBI investigation ‘should be the first step in addressing the allegations,’ the lawyers wrote Tuesday in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
Teenage years: Christine Blasey Ford moved west after her time at Horton Arms, the elite school which she was attending when she says she was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh
High school years: Brett Kavanaugh, seen in a high school yearbook photograph with Mark Judge, the friend who denies being present at the attack Christine Ford accused the now federal judge of conducting
Feradin says if Blasey Ford does testify on Monday, he will be watching – and supporting her all the way.
‘Do I trust her? Yes. Do I believe her? Yes,’ the 84-year-old told DailyMail.com. ‘It’s a horrible thing she’s carried for the last 30 years and what she’s doing is very brave.
‘This horrible thing that happened to her some time ago and now the guy who did it to her is in a position to move into a very important position.
‘It needs good character, to be a decent human being. I’m not saying he isn’t a decent person but I believe her – she’s got no reason to make this up.’
Kavanaugh supporters have called Ford’s credibility and motivations into question. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told NBC News that Ford is ‘mixed up,’ and called Kavanaugh ‘honest’ and ‘straightforward.’
Several former colleagues said that, as a biostatistician and psychologist, Ford was known for her scrupulous and meticulous professional conduct. She has published several books and more than 65 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Her work often involves analyzing data gathered in medical studies ranging from investigations of new depression treatments to opioid addiction interventions and traumatic brain injury research.
Sarah Adler, a former student of Ford’s who is now a clinical psychologist at Stanford, co-organized a letter in support of her former professor that had been signed by more than 300 colleagues and former students by Tuesday afternoon.
Another letter of support has been signed by more than 700 graduates of her private prep school, Holton-Arms.
‘I think she felt morally compelled to come forward, which is very much in line with what I know of her,’ said Adler. ‘She analyzes the data and lets the data tell the story.’
Ford values clear professional boundaries and isn’t one to share personal struggles with coworkers, the former colleagues said.
‘She never said a word about this,’ said Allan Reiss, a Stanford professor of psychiatry with whom she has written numerous scholarly publications.
‘But the fact that I know her as a person of integrity and honesty, it doesn’t surprise me that she came forward and that she has a personal sense of the importance of what she has to say.’
It was in couple’s counseling with her husband in 2012 that she first described an encounter with Kavanaugh in her freshman year of high school, she would later disclose.
Timothy Avery, a former student who is now a postdoctoral research fellow, said he and many others admire her intellect and her kindness on the job.
‘She has reviewed statistics for trials and research being presented to the federal government,’ Avery said. ‘This all requires a great deal of integrity. Other statisticians review her work, and she reviews theirs.’
Colleagues and former students described her as competent and laid-back, someone who is sure of her own footing and who balances work and family.
Even as her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee remains up in the air, Avery said he thinks Ford can handle the blazing national spotlight.
‘It’s obviously terrible to have to deal with but because her dedication to truth is more important than her personal difficulties, I think she can handle it,’ he said.
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