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Christine Ford’s high school friend, Leland Keyser, was ‘completely blindsided’ and left ‘reeling’ when the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape named her as a corroborating witness.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV a family member close to Keyser, 52, said: ‘Christine didn’t give her so much as a heads up – as far as I know they haven’t really spoken for several years and they’re certainly not close anymore.
‘Leland was completely blindsided by her name being thrown into it all. The first thing she knew about it was when she woke up on Thursday morning and her name was just everywhere. It was crazy.’
Pictured here for the first time since the news Ford had named her as a witness, Keyser showed the strain of being catapulted into this political maelstrom.
The family member who asked not to be named explained: ‘She’s just trying to get through it and hoping for it all to die down.
‘It really felt a lot like Christine was the one called to the principal’s office to give an account of something and just threw her under the bus. You know, just reached for a name.’
Keyser’s attorney, Howard J Walsh III, last night confirmed that his client has spoken with the FBI and that when she did so she could not corroborate Ford’s account.
Instead she doubled down on the statements she has already given to the Senate Committee in which she has denied all knowledge of the supposed party, the alleged assault or of Kavanaugh, 53.
Ford, 51, accused the Supreme Court nominee of attempting to rape her in a drunken attack in 1982 at a home in Montgomery County near Columbia Country Club.
According to Ford, Kavanaugh held her down and put his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming while he groped at her and pulled at her clothes.
She said that she was afraid that he might ‘accidentally kill her.’
Ford claims that Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge was in the room at the time.
Both Kavanaugh and Judge – who has also been interviewed by the FBI – vehemently deny these charges.
Patrick Smyth, another man named by Ford as a party-goer, and who attended Georgetown Preparatory School with Kavanaugh and Judge, has also denied being there.
Keyser – whom Ford described as her ‘best friend’ at Holton-Arms preparatory school – was her final hope for corroboration.
But Keyser’s relative revealed the mother-of-two’s shock at being named as a witness by a woman to whom she has barely spoken in recent years.
And they expressed anger at Ford’s suggestion that Keyser could not recall the party because of the ‘significant health challenges’ she has faced in recent years.
Ford attempted to brush aside Keyser’s statement telling members of the Senate Committee: ‘Leland has significant health challenges, and I’m happy that she’s focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs, and she let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes, and et cetera.
‘So I’m glad that she’s taking care of herself. I don’t expect that P.J. and Leland would remember this evening.
‘It was a very unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties, because nothing remarkable happened to them that evening. They were downstairs.’
Speaking in her defense Keyser’s loved one noted: ‘I think it’s quite convenient that she named the person who is frankly probably the least physically capable of all of them to stand up and be subjected to questioning or give her account.’
The family member went on to explain that the ‘health challenges’ faced by Keyser have not impaired her memory.
But they admitted that being caught up in the Kavanaugh scandal has proved physically trying at a time when Keyser is not in good health.
The relative said: ‘Leland is not a well woman. She has had years of injuries that have seen her have 14 operations on her neck and back. She just wants to get better.’
She is also under enormous emotional stress.
An open letter to Keyser published on Tuesday in The Daily Caller dragged up a tragedy from her past in a bizarre attempt to cast doubt on Keyser’s insistence that she remembers nothing and push her to confront past memories, however painful. Read More