“He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
She said she had grappled with her sense of duty for weeks over whether to come forward and identify herself, aware she may face a ferocious backlash and that her claims were unlikely to derail his nomination.
“Why suffer through the annhiliation if it’s not going to matter, she said. “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation.”
Democratic senator Diane Feinstein said the Senate consideration of Mr Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court justice should be put on hold until the FBI conducts an investigation.
She said: “I support Ms Ford’s decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation. This should happen before the Senate moves forward on this nominee.”
Earlier this week Mr Kavanaugh strenuously denied the accusations. “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said in a statement. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
The Telegraph contacted the White House for comment on Ms Ford’s claims, but had no response at the time of going to press.