WASHINGTON (AFP) - The woman who accuses President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick of sexual assault at a high school party will testify on Thursday (Sept 27) that she feared Judge Brett Kavanaugh would rape her.
"I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help," Dr Christine Blasey Ford will tell US lawmakers, according to prepared testimony that she will deliver at a high-profile hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judge Kavanaugh, whose nomination was in serious jeopardy after bombshell new accusations by another woman emerged on Wednesday charging that the judge engaged in sexually abusive behaviour when he was a teenager, has vehemently denied the allegations.
Three women have now come forward accusing Judge Kavanaugh, 53, of assault or sexual misconduct when he was in high school in suburban Maryland or a student at Yale University.
Dr Blasey Ford, 51, said Judge Kavanaugh's alleged assault on her in 1982, in which she says he placed his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, left her "drastically altered", but added that she felt compelled to share her story about what happened to her at the hands of a man now being considered for the nation's high court.
"The details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me episodically as an adult," she says in her eight-page opening testimony obtained on Wednesday by US media.
Dr Blasey Ford's accusations have thrust her into an intense national spotlight, as Mr Trump seeks to push through his nominee on party lines and Democrats demand a suspension of the proceedings to allow the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation.
Thursday's hearing is considered deeply controversial, with Republicans taking the extraordinary step of hiring a female attorney to question Dr Blasey Ford on behalf of the committee's 11 Republican senators, all men.
Judge Kavanaugh is scheduled to testify after Dr Blasey Ford. Democrats plan to ask their own questions of the witnesses.
"I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school," Dr Blasey Ford will say.
"I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified," she adds.
Dr Blasey Ford describes being accosted by a "visibly drunk" Judge Kavanaugh and his friend, Mr Mark Judge. She says they thrust her into an upstairs bedroom at the house and locked the door.
"I was pushed onto the bed and Brett got on top of me. He began running his hands over my body and grinding his hips into me," she says.
Dr Blasey Ford said she was finally able to escape and rushed out of the house with an "enormous sense of relief" that the teens did not follow her.
"Brett's assault on me drastically altered my life. For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details," she says.