Leland Keyser is a longtime friend of Christine Blasey Ford, who has reportedly been sought out by the Senate Judiciary Committee in relation to a potential hearing on Thursday.
On Saturday night, Keyser’s attorney released the following statement to CNN: “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”
Keyser’s lawyer did acknowledge that Ford and Keyser are “lifelong” friends.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Keyser Is a Longtime Friend of Ford & Said She Believes Her
In a statement to The Washington Post via her lawyer, Keyser confirmed that she and Ford are longtime friends. Furthermore, she stipulated that she believed Ford’s allegation even though she didn’t personally remember the party in question.
Debra Katz, one of Ford’s lawyers, said of Keyser’s statement, “It’s not surprising that Ms Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it,” Katz said in a statement. “It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there.”
2. Keyser Is One of Three People Identified in Connection to the Alleged Party, None of Whom Plan to Testify
Apparently, this is not the first time Keyser has been contacted regarding Ford’s allegation. CNN reports that a “committee staffer” contacted Keyser earlier this week, writing, “I understand that you have been identified as an individual who was in attendance at a party that occurred circa 1982 described in a recent Washington Post article.”
It’s unclear whether Keyser will end up testifying before the SJC regarding her friendship with Ford, or whether any witnesses will be allowed at all.
As for Kavanaugh, he will appear before the SJC along with Ford. Kavanaugh has repeatedly maintained his innocence in the face of Ford’s allegations.
Keyser isn’t the only potential witness who has denied any memory of the events of the party that Ford has detailed in her claim against Ford. According to The New York Times, both Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth have similarly said they have no recollection of any party in which an incident like this occurred.
Judge, a longtime friend of Kavanaugh, said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 19, “I have no memory of this alleged incident.”
As for Smyth, he said in a similar statement, “I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post. I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
Smyth continued, “Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women. To safeguard my own privacy and anonymity, I respectfully request that the Committee accept this statement in response to any inquiry the Committee may have.”
3. Keyser Is the Ex-Wife of Bob Beckel & the Current Wife of John Keyser
Keyser is the ex-wife of Bob Beckel, a Fox News personality. They were married from 1992 to 2002 and have two children together. Keyser herself was a professional golfer in her earlier years, and has been a golf coach at Georgetown University previously.
Now, Keyser is married to John Keyser, who initiated the women’s golf program at Georgetown. At some point, Keyser suffered a neck injury that led to her announcing her departure from Georgetown in 2005.
Of his wife’s injury, John Keyser said in an interview with Blue Ocean Common Wealth, “My wife had become a bit disabled and I retired to become a caregiver and soccer mom for the kids. I learned about a leadership coaching program at Georgetown University, thought I certainly have some time and who wouldn’t want to study leadership. I applied, was accepted, and immediately fell in love with what I was learning. Eight months later, when I graduated, I set up Common Sense Leadership.”
Both of Keyser’s children have followed her footsteps into golf.
4.Ford Is a Professor at Palo Alto University Who Teaches Graduate Students in Clinical Psychology
Christine Blasey Ford is a professor at Palo Alto University and teaches in consortium with Stanford University. Prior to that, an archive of her LinkedIn reveals that she has been a visiting professor at Pepperdine University, a research psychologist for Stanford University’s Department of Psychiatry, and a professor at the Stanford School Of Medicine Collaborative Clinical Psychology Program.
Ford received her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then received a Master’s Degree in psychology at Pepperdine University, followed by a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Research Design at the University of Southern California. Finally, she received a Master’s in Education from Stanford University.
Ford graduated from Holton-Arms School in 1984. Holton-Arms School is an all-girls school in Bethesda, Maryland, which is located seven miles away from Georgetown Prep, the all-boys school Kavanaugh attended during the same period.
5. Ford’s Letter to Rep. Anna Eshoo Claims That Kavanaugh Attempted to Rape Her
Here is the full letter Ford wrote to Rep. Anna Eshoo in early July upon finding out Kavanaugh had been nominated for the Supreme Court:
Dear Senator Feinstein;
I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court. As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak. Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980’s. He conducted these acts with the assistance of REDACTED.
Both were one to two years older than me and students at a local private school.
The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others. Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help. Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.
From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from “go for it” to “stop.” At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.
I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see REDACTED once at the REDACTED where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me.
I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6 I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information . It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.
I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently REDACTED and will be in REDACTED.
In confidence, REDACTED.