Christine Blasey Ford looks calm as she testifies in front of Congress.

Things We Saw Today: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Honors Gymnast Rachael Denhollander with Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year Award

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has largely kept out of the public eye since testifying against Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate. She is still receiving death threats and has had to move her family multiple times, in addition to being unable to resume her teaching position. Ford made a rare public appearance in a pre-taped segment introducing Rachael Denhollander, who won Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year award. Denhollander was the first victim who came forward publicly against convicted serial child molester Larry Nassar, launching a movement that lead to hundreds of gymnasts coming forward with their own stories of abuse.

Ford said of Denhollander, “In stepping forward, you took a huge risk, and you galvanized future generations to come forward even when the odds are seemingly stacked against them. The lasting lesson is that we all have the power to create real change, and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others.”

Denhollander, who is now a lawyer and a mother of three, first spoke out against Nassar in a series of interviews with the Indianapolis Star. Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said of meeting with Denhollander, “I knew there was no doubt that she would carry this case, that the world would hear her and believe her and the truth would be exposed.”

Since Nassar’s conviction, over 150 lawsuits have been filed against Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic committee for covering for Nassar’s crimes. Michigan State University has since agreed to pay $500 million to 332 alleged victims of Nassar, the largest amount of money ever paid by a university over a sexual assault case.

Denhollander said during her trial testimony, “I want you to understand why I made this choice, knowing full well what it was going to cost to get here and with very little hope of ever succeeding. I did it because it was right. No matter the cost, it was right. And the farthest I can run from what you have become is to daily choose what is right instead of what I want.”

Here’s hoping both Ford and Denhollander find peace and closure after an extraordinary and brave year.

(via Jezebel, image: WIN MCNAMEE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Despite making strides in the industry, women directors are still excluded from awards season accolades. (via Pajiba)
  • The Predator is getting its own Rankin & Bass-style holiday special, complete with felt reindeer carnage. (via /Film)
  • You can catch a glimpse of Punisher Season 2, which drops on Netflix in January. (via ComicBook)
  • Sesame Street will be introducing its first homeless character, despite the fact that Oscar the Grouch has been living in a trashcan for decades now. (via WDSU)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.