WASHINGTON (AP) -- Julie Swetnick, one of the women who has publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, has an extensive history of involvement in legal disputes, including a lawsuit in which an ex-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 Kavanaugh's nomination for the nation's highest court.
Court records reviewed by The Associated Press show Swetnick has been involved in at least six legal 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, D.C., regional transit authority.
Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told the AP that court cases involving her have no bearing on the credibility of her claims about Kavanaugh. 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 told AP that he "fully vetted" Swetnick before helping her take her claims against Kavanaugh public.
Avenatti released a sworn statement by Swetnick this past week in which she says she witnessed 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, Swetnick said she had been sexually assaulted at a party attended by members of Kavanaugh's social circle, but did not accuse him of assaulting her. Two other women have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually abusing them.
One of those women, Christine Blasey Ford, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to offer emotional testimony that even Kavanaugh's most ardent backers, including Trump, said they found credible. Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a drunken party when both were students at Yale University. Friends and colleagues of Ramirez describe her as a quiet person who has dedicated herself to being an advocate for needy families and survivors of domestic violence.
Swetnick was the third named Kavanaugh accuser to emerge, when Avenatti released details of her accusations on Twitter on the eve of Ford's testimony.
Kavanaugh has denied the claims regarding him made by Swetnick and other women, characterizing some of the allegations as a "joke" and a "farce."
Ann Simonton, a nationally recognized advocate for rape survivors and director of Media Watch, a media literacy organization, cautioned 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.
Swetnick, who is from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., has said she is willing to be interviewed by either Congress or the FBI. On Twitter, Avenatti wrote that he and Swetnick would "thoroughly enjoy" embarrassing Republicans on the Judiciary Committee this weekend "when her story is told and is deemed credible." Swetnick has taped an interview with "The Circus," a political program that is part of Showtime's Sunday lineup.
Some details of the legal disputes she's been involved in aren't known, because documents in the cases are incomplete or no longer available. Records in the lawsuit filed in late 2000 by her ex-employer, Oregon-based software company Webtrends, don't indicate why it was dismissed. Avenatti said there was a settlement in the case but no money changed hands.
In its civil complaint in a state court in Oregon, the company said Swetnick, a software engineer, was an employee for a few weeks before its human resources department received a report that she had engaged in "unwelcome sexual innuendo and inappropriate conduct" toward two male co-workers at a business lunch.
The lawsuit said that Swetnick in turn accused Webtrends of subjecting her to "physically and emotionally threatening and hostile conditions" and that she claimed that she'd been sexually harassed by four co-workers. The co-workers denied the allegations, the suit said.