Legendary journalist Connie Chung lent her support to Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who, until just a few weeks ago was an everyday person leading a quiet private life and working as a university professor in northern California, has been thrust into the national spotlight and testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her accusation that Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in 1982 when the two were in high school.
Chung, who in 1993 became the first woman to co-anchor the CBS Evening News, wrote a powerful open letter in The Washington Post. She also recorded herself reading the letter to Ford, which can be heard in the video at the top of this page. “I too, was sexually assaulted — not 36 years ago but about 50 years ago,” Chungs writes at the opening of the letter. “I have kept my dirty little secret to myself. Silence for five decades. The molester was our trusted family doctor. What made this monster even more reprehensible was that he was the very doctor who delivered me on August 20, 1946. I’m 72 now.”
Chung goes on to draw some parallels between herself and Ford, particularly in the way they’re each able to recall certain details about the assaults, but not others — likely a phenomenon experienced by many women who have survived sexual assault. “I cannot remember the exact date or even year. Yet I can still describe the following in detail. He drew the curtain, asking me to remove my clothes below the waist while he sat at his desk by the bay window. When I was ready, he came to the examination area and installed stirrups on one end of the cushioned examination table.” Chung then describes in graphic detail how the assault unfolded and the immediate emotional fallout she experienced.
“Christine, I know the truth, as you do,” Chung writes near the end of the letter. “Years ago, my husband read a novel by Rita Mae Brown called Six of One. He told me, “There’s a great line in this book. ‘The advantage of telling the truth is you don’t have to remember what you said.’”
Chung is a giant in the broadcast journalism world who has had a storied career at NBC, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC in addition to her groundbreaking work at CBS, and is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winner.
Read the full open letter at The Washington Post.