WASHINGTON — Mark Judge spent decades mining his recollections and writing books and articles full of semi-confessional details about the suburban Maryland prep school he attended with future Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Now, though, Judge’s memory has drawn a blank.
Judge, identified by Christine Blasey Ford as an eyewitness to her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a 1980s teen party, has said he has “no memory” of the episode. Ford, now a college professor in California, claims Judge watched the attack and urged Kavanaugh on. Judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week: “I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”
Over much of his adult life, Judge has dived back repeatedly into his memories of Georgetown Preparatory School student life in the early 1980s, and his two memoirs and a cluster of internet essays provide cautionary takes on his prep school days and boozy weekend rounds as a teenage drinker. Judge’s book “Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk” surveyed his alcohol-fueled escapades in high school and college, a time of “drinking and smoking and hooking up,” he wrote in a 2015 essay on the Acculturated website.
After Judge was publicly identified by Ford, some former Georgetown Prep classmates sifted through their own memories, trying to reconcile their recollections with Ford’s account.
Those classmates said they could not recall any instances where Kavanaugh acted similarly to Ford’s account. But three classmates, one speaking publicly and the other two speaking anonymously, portrayed Judge as a bullying presence during classes, and at weekend parties where athletes gathered at night to tap kegs of beer and woo girls from nearby schools. The two who requested anonymity did so out of concern that talking publicly about this issue could jeopardize their business and professional relationships within the tight-knit Georgetown Prep community.
Maryland state Sen. Richard Madaleno, who was in Georgetown Prep’s 1983 graduating class with Kavanaugh and Judge, sharply remembers Judge as “nasty to other people.”
“He was an unhappy person who dealt with his own demons by making other people unhappy,” Madaleno said, “especially those of us who he perceived to be on a lower rung of the high school ladder.” A Democrat who mounted an unsuccessful 2018 candidacy for Maryland governor, Madaleno said if he had been asked 25 years ago who was the most difficult person at the school, “I would have answered Mark Judge.”
Although Kavanaugh and Judge played on the school’s football team and partied together, Madaleno did not remember the future judge the same way. “There’s no guilt by association,” he said.
Two other Georgetown Prep classmates elaborated on Judge’s “bully” persona at the time: Quick-witted and adroit with insults, he taunted kids with weight problems or foreign names. He dismissed many of those outside of his circle as “losers.” He questioned the sexuality of members of the school’s swim team. He sometimes openly mocked teachers and priests.
“He had a way of being funny at other peoples’ expense,” one former classmate said. “You’d want to be on his good side so that you weren’t his target.”
Judge’s lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, said he “is not speaking during the pendency of the Kavanaugh hearings.”
A Washington Post reporter caught up with Judge on Monday in Bethany Beach, Delaware, where he had been holed up in a beachfront house in recent days, ordered by Van Gelder to leave town. “How’d you find me?” is all he said.
“He is a recovering alcoholic and is under unbelievable stress,” Van Gelder told the Post.
The Delaware and Maryland shores are habitats that Judge has sketched repeatedly in his writings, describing liquor-soaked parties where he and his prep school mates drank themselves into stupors and desperately tried to lose their virginity. In a scene in “Wasted,” Judge described a drunken chat with several friends that mentioned what some classmates suggest is a very thinly veiled reference to Kavanaugh.
Asked about a friend named “Bart O’Kavanaugh,” Judge replies that “he’s around here somewhere,” and then is told, “I heard he puked in someone’s car the other night.”
In “God and Man at Georgetown Prep,” a book about his school days, Judge writes that “Prep was a school positively swimming in alcohol, and my class partied with gusto — often right under the noses of our teachers.” Judge added that “my class of 80 decided that we would drink 100 kegs of beer.”
Both Kavanaugh’s and Judge’s yearbook entries contain references to “100 KEGS or Bust.” Kavanaugh is also listed as “Keg City Club (Treasurer).”
But while the classmates say they were aware that Brett Kavanaugh attended some of the weekend house parties and summer beach gatherings with football team members and other friends, they never saw any evidence that he was a heavy drinker in the way that Judge describes himself at the time.
One of the classmates, who said he attended several parties with Kavanaugh and Judge, said: “Brett would have at most two or three beers. Other guys would down twice that amount.”
Charles Koones, who graduated a year ahead of Kavanaugh and Judge, said Judge’s recollections of a drunken, sex-infused Georgetown Prep did not match his own. While students at the school did drink and have parties, Koones said, he doubted Judge’s recollections of a teacher admonishing the class over how many pregnancies its members had caused.
“I never knew that to happen,” he said. “And I wasn’t one of the shrinking violets.”
Koones said he remembered Kavanaugh from the school’s football team and recalled him fondly. He declined to offer thoughts on the sexual assault allegations, but said he found the school’s portrayal to be unfortunate.
“The whole thing is a crying shame,” he said. “The Prep community is confident in the positive things we put into the world.”
Witte reported from Annapolis, Maryland. Associated Press writer Ashraf Khalil in Washington contributed to this report.