February 8, 2023

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Brett Kavanagh sexual assault doc ‘Justice’ exposed

3 min read

“Justice,” a documentary chronicling sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, was in the works for more than a year before it was added as a late-breaking addition to the 2023 Sundance Film Festival lineup.

Doug Liman (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “The Bourne Identity”) directed the film, which premiered Friday at the Park Avenue Theater in Park City. Like many Americans, he vividly remembers watching Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while a high school student in the early ’80s, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018. Three additional women later accused Kavanagh of misconduct (all of which he denied). An FBI investigation “found no evidence of the charges,” and Kavanaugh was ultimately upheld in the nation’s highest court with a life sentence.

During a Q&A after the screening, Lyman Blasey described feeling angry while watching Ford’s testimony and “knowing that something was going very wrong.”

Liman believes “the FBI investigation of Brett Kavanaugh fell short.” His documentary features new evidence and original interviews with people closely involved in the allegations, including Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez. She alleges that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and forced himself on her at a dorm party in the early 1980s.

Limon praised the people who chose to speak in the film.

“It’s a movie where people are terrified,” Limon said. “I mean, the reality is that the people who chose to be in the movie are the heroes.”

“The film examines our judicial process and the institutions behind it, highlighting the bureaucratic wrongdoing and political power grabs that continue to have a profound impact on our nation today,” he said in a statement ahead of the film’s premiere. Moreover, he added, “It shouldn’t be so difficult to have an open and honest conversation about whether a Supreme Court justice assaulted numerous women as a young man.”

Liman admits he doesn’t know what kind of approach he expects to follow the film’s premiere. “For me, I think the work ends with the film and what happens after that is out of my control,” he said. “My thoughts did not go beyond the film.

Amy Hardy, one of the film’s producers, pushed back against Limon’s response and said she respectfully disagreed. “I hope it sparks outrage and action,” he said. “I hope this will trigger a real investigation with real subpoena powers.”

A revelation in the documentary alleges that the FBI received tips that corroborated Ford’s and Ramirez’s accounts. Another piece of new information details a third incident submitted to the FBI by a former Yale classmate — attorney Max Stier — who claims he saw Kavanaugh force himself on a female student at a dorm party.

“Materials like that were shielded and sent to the White House and never pursued. For me, it was the most shocking thing I’ve ever believed when the FBI was conducting an investigation and 4,500 people went through the effort of submitting tips,” Liman said. “And those tips went into the trash can at the White House.”

Hardy and Liman said that since announcing the documentary, they’ve received more tips from people who claim to have stories to share.

“I thought the picture was done but it looks like… we’re not going home,” Limon said. “The team stayed on top of it.”

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