A Republican county chairman in North Carolina reportedly shared a photo that social media trolls have falsely claimed was of Christine Blasey Ford, commenting, “This is the alleged sexual assault victim. Wow.”
Cabarrus County Republican Chair Lanny Lancaster shared the photo, which portrays a young blond woman with a flowy 80’s haircut, glasses and braces on Monday night, the Raleigh News and Observer reported. Lancaster appears to have since deleted his post.
The photo has been used in memes and online jokes since at least 2012 and has recently been circulating in conjunction with actual yearbook photos of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The individual post shared by Lancaster has been shared nearly 13,000 times.
“I didn’t say anything. I just said this is her picture. Basically, the media is distorting the facts on this lady. Everything she’s said is made up. She has no evidence whatsoever. I support that theory,” Lancaster told the Raleigh News and Observer.
“The media wants you to think she was a beautiful young lady who was on her way home from the tennis courts,” Lancaster added to the News and Observer. “I just wanted you to see the real person. I wanted people to see that this is really her.”
Lancaster and the Carrabus County GOP did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CNN Friday morning.
Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when the two were in high school, which he denies.