With Donald Trump’s mockery yesterday of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s memory lapses still dominating today’s news cycle, journalist Connie Chung is sharing her own story of sexual assault and similar gaps in memory.
“The exact date and year are fuzzy,” Chung writes in an open letter to Blasey Ford published today in The Washington Post. “But details of the event are vivid — forever seared in my memory.
“Am I sure who did it? Oh yes, 100 percent.”
In the letter, Chung, now 72, writes that she was sexually assaulted 50 years ago by the physician who had delivered her in 1946.
“The molester was our trusted family doctor,” Chung writes before detailing the assault.
“I went to my family doctor to ask for birth-control pills, an IUD or a diaphragm,” writes Chung, who was a college student and a virgin at the time. She shares that during her physical examination, “While I stared at the ceiling, his right index finger massaged my clitoris.” Following the exam, during which, Chung says, she experienced orgasm, “he leaned over, kissed me, a peck on my lips, and slipped behind the curtain to his office area.”
Chung writes that she did not report the incident to authorities. “At the time, I think I may have told one of my sisters. I certainly did not tell my parents. I did not report him to authorities. It never crossed my mind to protect other women. Please understand, I was actually embarrassed about my sexual naivete. I was in my 20s and knew nothing about sex. All I wanted to do was bury the incident in my mind and protect my family.”
Chung goes on to say that when “the superb reporting of the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and the New York Times’s Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor helped touch off this intimate discussion, my dirty little secret reared its ugly head and I told anyone who would listen.”
The doctor, she thinks, died nearly 30 years ago. “I’ve driven past his home/office many times but refused to look at it. Just yesterday, I found the house on Google Maps. Seeing it again, I freaked out.”
Chung also notes that coming forward now is terrifying, telling Blasey Ford, “I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. Can you? If you can’t, I understand. I am frightened, I am scared, I can’t even cry.” Chung says she worries that her journalistic legacy will “be relegated to a footnote? Will “She Too” be etched on my tombstone instead?”
Concludes Chung, “I wish I could forget this truthful event, but I cannot because it is the truth. I am writing to you because I know that exact dates, exact years are insignificant. We remember exactly what happened to us and who did it to us. We remember the truth forever.”