In the wake of Donald Trump’s mockery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally that even Fox & Friends criticized this morning, former CBS journalist Connie Chung opened up about a sexual assault she experienced when she was in college and emphasized the fact that she also had similar gaps in memory.
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“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.”
Chung assumes the doctor died more than 30 years ago, but she recalls that she has driven past his home many times over the years and refused to look at it. Just yesterday, she looked up the home on Google Maps. Chung said, “Seeing it again, I freaked out.”
Chung, in support of Blasey Ford, empathizes that coming forward can be terrifying.
“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?”
“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.”