Julie Swetnick, one of the women who has publicly accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, has an extensive history of involvement in legal disputes, including a lawsuit in which a former employer accused her of falsifying her college and work history on her job application.
Legal documents from Maryland, Oregon and Florida provide a partial picture of a woman who stepped into the media glare amid the battle over Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination for the nation’s highest court.
Court records show Ms Swetnick has been involved in at least six cases over the past 25 years. Along with the lawsuit filed by a former employer in November 2000, the cases include a personal injury suit she filed in 1994 against the Washington, DC, regional transit authority.
Her lawyer Michael Avenatti said that cases involving her have no bearing on the credibility of her claims about Mr Kavanaugh. Mr Avenatti said the suit from her ex-employer – it was dismissed a month after it was filed – was “completely bogus, which is why it was dismissed almost immediately”. He said he “fully vetted” Ms Swetnick before helping to take her claims against Mr Kavanaugh public.
Mr Avenatti released a sworn statement by Ms Swetnick last week in which she says she witnessed Mr Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s”.
In the statement, which was provided to the Senate judiciary committee, Ms Swetnick said she had been sexually assaulted at a party attended by members of Mr Kavanaugh’s social circle but did not accuse him of assaulting her.
Two other women have publicly accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexually abusing them. One, Christine Blasey Ford, appeared before the judiciary committee on Thursday to offer emotional testimony that even Mr Kavanaugh’s most ardent backers, including President Donald Trump, said they found credible.
Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused him of exposing himself to her during a drunken party when they were students at Yale University. Friends and colleagues of Ms Ramirez describe her as a quiet person who has dedicated herself to being an advocate for needy families and survivors of domestic violence.
Ms Swetnick was the third named accuser to emerge when Mr Avenatti gave details of her accusations on Twitter on the eve of Ms Ford’s testimony.
Mr Kavanaugh has denied the claims made by Ms Swetnick and other women, describing some of the allegations as a “joke” and a “farce”.
Ann Simonton, a nationally recognised advocate for rape survivors and director of Media Watch, warned that many sexual abuse survivors encounter chaos and trouble later in life. “Things can tarnish a survivor’s image but don’t necessarily speak to the legitimacy of the underlying abuse allegations. This type of trauma will impact your daily life forever,” she said.
Ms Swetnick, who is from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, has said she is willing to be interviewed by Congress or the FBI. Mr Avenatti tweeted that he and Ms Swetnick would “thoroughly enjoy” embarrassing Republicans on the judiciary committee this weekend “when her story is told and is deemed credible”.
Ms Swetnick has taped an interview with The Circus, a political programme that is part of Showtime’s Sunday line-up.
Some details of the legal disputes she has been involved in are not known because documents in the cases are incomplete or no longer available. Records in the lawsuit filed in 2000 by her former employer, software company Webtrends, do not indicate why it was dismissed.