Louisa Garry was a student at Yale at the same time as Brett Kavanaugh and has described herself as a good friend of Kavanaugh’s. She has repeatedly come forward in support of her old classmate, speaking at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and even appearing in ads on TV to defend Kavanaugh against his critics.
But Garry may have just experienced a change of heart.
Garry had signed a statement defending Kavanaugh against recent accusations that Kavanaugh used sexually inappropriate behavior towards a young woman at Yale named Debbie Ramirez. Then on Monday, Garry suddenly approached the New Yorker magazine to retract her statement. Garry told The New Yorker, “I never saw or heard anything like this. But I cannot dispute Ramirez’s allegations, as I was not present.”
On Sunday night, the New Yorker published an article telling the story of Debbie Ramirez. Ramirez was also an undergraduate at Yale at the same time as Kavanaugh. She says that during freshman year, she was at a party with Kavanaugh and a few others, playing a drinking game. She alleges that when she was drunk and lying on the floor, Kavanaugh opened up his pants and exposed himself to her, laughing. You can read the full New Yorker article here, and you can read more about Ramirez here.
Here’s what you need to know about Louisa Garry:
1. Garry Signed a Statement Saying Ramirez’s Allegations Were Not Credible — But Then She Retracted
Garry was one of six people who wrote and signed a statement to the New Yorker in response to Ramirez’s allegations. The statement, which appeared in the New Yorker piece on Sunday night said that they did not believe Ramirez’s allegations because that kind of behavior would be “completely out of character” for Kavanaugh. The statement said, in part,
“We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place. Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not. The behavior she describes would be completely out of character for Brett.”
But on Monday, Garry approached the New Yorker and said that she wanted to take her name off of the statement. She told the New Yorker, “I never saw or heard anything like this. But I cannot dispute Ramirez’s allegations, as I was not present.”
2. Garry Said Kavanaugh is a Family Man With Lots of Integrity
Even before the Ramirez allegations came out, Garry was speaking up on behalf of Kavanaugh. She made an ad defending him as a family man who is “of the highest integrity.”
Garry said, “I’ve been friends with Brett Kavanaugh for 35 years… I believe that we need to have bright, curious, open-minded, thoughtful, empathetic people who are judges and I trust that Brett is that person.”
You can watch the full ad here.
3. Garry Is an English Teacher at a Long Island Prep School
Garry works for the English Department of Friends Academy, a private, Quaker preparatory school on Long Island. She also coaches the school’s track team.
Friends Academy describes its English department as follows:
“The Friends Academy English Department is committed to providing students with the deep content knowledge and high-level critical thinking and communication skills that they will need in order to become successful, confident, happy and thoughtful adults. Our faculty is made up of experienced teachers with advanced degrees who love what they do each day and who are committed to ongoing professional development and growth in order bring the best of new thinking about pedagogy into conversation with those practices that have stood the test of time.”
4. Garry and Kavanaugh Trained Together for the Boston Marathon
Garry was on Yale’s track and field team, where she was a sprinter. Kavanaugh is known for his love of sports and his love of running. Louisa Garry has said that she and Kavanaugh shared that love of running and that they trained together for the Boston Marathon. The two of them ran the marathon twice together — once in 2010 and once in 2015.
Garry has said that she and Kavanaugh often talked about the benefits of youth sports in raising “strong, independent girls and women with confident voices.”
5. People Are Complaining About Garry’s Politics — Even on RateMyTeacher.com
Garry is an English teacher at a prep school on Long Island. Like most teachers, she has a page on the popular website, RateMyTeacher.com, which lets students give their opinions of their teachers. Most of Garry’s students call her “dry” and one accuses her of playing favorites, although some give her glowing reviews and at least one student says she “luvs” her.
But a few people have used RateMyTeacher to give their opinion of Garry’s politics. One person wrote,
“I am a parent, but not one in your district. I am disappointed that she made the commercial for Mr. Kavenaugh. I understand that we, each of us are inclined to defend our friends on a personal level. But Ms. Barry [sic] is not a lawyer or a jurist. There is no evidence that she has read, analyzed or considered any of his opinions or articles. She has no way then to judge his judicial integrity or his judicial temperament. She should have thought twice before vouching.”
Another person wrote, simply, “Ms Garry is too political.”
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