A woman who signed a letter supporting Brett Kavanaugh after he was accused of sexual assault earlier this month called revelations from his high school yearbook that showed he and his friends reportedly boasted about their supposed conquests with her “hurtful,” The New York Times reported Monday.
Renate Schroeder Dolphin joined 64 other women this month who signed a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee saying they knew the Supreme Court nominee during their high school years and that “he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”
However, Kavanaugh included “Renate Alumnius” as an entry in his high school yearbook page, and two of Kavanaugh’s classmates told the Times the mentions of “Renate” were part of the high school football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.
When Dolphin, who attended a nearby Catholic girls’ school and was then known as Renate Schroeder, signed the September 14 letter, the Times reports, she wasn’t aware of the “Renate” yearbook references about herself on the pages of Kavanaugh and his football teammates.
“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Dolphin said in a statement to the Times. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”
The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, the newspaper reports, including in the caption of a group photo of nine football players that includes Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, In the photo caption, the group of student athletes are described as the “Renate Alumni.”
Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, said Judge was present when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her during their high school years.
Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, pinning her down and covered her mouth as he tried to take off her clothes; she alleges Judge was in the room during the alleged assault. Both Kavanaugh and Judge deny Ford’s allegations.
Ford and Kavanaugh are both scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kavanaugh was one of 13 graduating seniors who referred to Dolphin in some way on their personal pages, the Times reports.
Sean Hagan, who was a Georgetown Prep student at the time, told the Times that Kavanaugh and his teammates “were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” and said, “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”
Hagan and another classmate, who requested anonymity, told the Times that Dolphin was a subject of their boasting. They said Kavanaugh and his friends wanted to memorialize their supposed conquests with the yearbook references.
Hagan said Dolphin “should be offended,” and told the Times he was “completely astounded” when he saw she had signed the letter in support of Kavanaugh.
Beth Wilkinson and Alexandra Walsh, lawyers for Kavanaugh, told CNN in a statement that Kavanaugh “was friends with Renate Dolphin in high school. He admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.”
“Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Dolphin attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event,” the statement reads.
“They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else.”
Dolphin told the Times through her lawyer, “I think Brett must have me confused with someone else, because I never kissed him.”
Four of the players who were pictured with Judge Kavanaugh in the photo captioned “Renate Alumni” told the Times it was simply a reference to “innocent dates” or going to dances with Dolphin. DeLancey Davis, Tom Kane, Tim Gaudette and Don Urgo Jr. said in a statement to the Times that they had “never bragged about” sexual contact or anything like that with Dolphin.
Michael Walsh, another student at Georgetown Prep, also wrote “Renate Alumnus” on his yearbook page, the Times reports. He also included a short poem, “You need a date / and it’s getting late / so don’t hesitate / to call Renate.”
Walsh was one of many Georgetown Prep alumni who signed a letter vouching for Kavanaugh’s “sharp intellectual ability, affable nature, and a practical and fair approach devoid of partisan purpose.” He did not respond to the Times’ requests for comment.
Dolphin was aware Kavanaugh’s friends were reciting that poem, a person familiar with her thinking told the Times. She reportedly told the football players that she found it offensive and asked them to stop.