Back at Georgetown Prep, Kavanaugh Is Hailed as a Hero

ROCKVILLE, Md. — During halftime at Georgetown Preparatory School’s homecoming football game on Saturday, a group of students swiped through photos on their phones as they waited in a long line for burgers and fries. One sandy-haired boy tapped his latest image: a selfie with Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, the newest member of the Supreme Court and an alumnus of Georgetown Prep, Class of 1983.

Justice Kavanaugh — whose years at this prestigious Catholic boys’ school were under a microscope during his Senate confirmation battle — was back on campus.

Following allegations that he had sexually assaulted a young woman during high school, Justice Kavanaugh’s drinking, rowdy behavior and treatment of women at Georgetown Prep nearly derailed his nomination.

Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied ever assaulting anyone, and he was confirmed and sworn in as a Supreme Court justice earlier this month. At Georgetown Prep’s annual reunion weekend, he was hailed as a conquering hero.

On Friday night, he showed up at “stag night,” the first event of the reunion weekend. Some classmates at the on-campus party were pretty sure that he was dressed in the same dark suit and blue tie that he wore to his bruising Senate Judiciary Committee hearing a month earlier. Attendees said that he mingled with fellow alumni, asking about their family members, chatting about his new job and at one point posing for pictures with the school’s kitchen staff.

The next day, he was back on campus to watch the varsity football team on which he had played 35 years earlier. This chilly and wet Saturday, his Hoyas trounced Episcopal High School, 24-6.

Justice Kavanaugh — wearing a red cap, khaki slacks and a black coat — was accompanied by two plainclothes security guards and a Montgomery County police officer as he worked the crowd.

“Hanging in,” he said to one attendee. “I’m well. Say hello to everyone.” At another point, his high-pitched laugh could be heard above the din of the crowd of about 400.

Tobin Finizio, a radiologist who was the quarterback on Justice Kavanaugh’s football team, was there. So were Bernard M. McCarthy Jr., now a managing director at a Washington real-estate company; Michael Bidwill, the president of the Arizona Cardinals; and Tim Gaudette, a consultant in Colorado. The three friends were among those drawn into the controversy after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault at a 1982 house party at which there was heavy drinking.

Mark Judge — an author and filmmaker who, according to Dr. Blasey, witnessed the alleged assault — was a no-show. So was Christopher Garrett, otherwise known by his high school nickname “Squi.” Mr. Judge and Mr. Garrett were so closely associated with the young Justice Kavanaugh — appearing regularly in entries in his personal calendar in the summer of 1982 — that they became part of a “Saturday Night Live” skit about the Senate confirmation hearings.

At one point during the football game, Justice Kavanaugh prepared to pose for a picture with former classmates. First, though, he instructed everyone to put down their beers, according to a person who witnessed the exchange. (Justice Kavanaugh didn’t appear to be drinking.)

After the Hoyas’ victory, scores of classmates, spouses and friends from the era gathered for a night of drinking and reminiscing at the nearby Pinstripes bistro and bowling venue.

Justice Kavanaugh skipped the evening event — but his presence loomed large. Addressing the crowd, Georgetown Prep’s recently appointed president, the Rev. James R. Van Dyke, noted how the firestorm around the nomination had united the Class of 1983 and the entire school.

“You guys, the Class of 1983, are in some ways my first class,” said Father Van Dyke, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times, noting how “we’ve been all thrown into the mix together.” He added that “I have heard so many of your names.”

Again his voice was drowned out by a chorus of whooping and cheering, as the crowd screamed some of those names: “Squi!” “P.J.!” That would be Patrick J. Smyth, another classmate whom Dr. Blasey said was at the party where she was assaulted. Mr. Smyth was at the Pinstripes event.

Father Van Dyke lauded “the loyalty that you have had to each other, the way that you have looked after each other, and not just in the big stories but also a lot of small stories.”

(None of Justice Kavanaugh’s high school friends returned phone calls seeking comment on Sunday.)

By 10:30 p.m., as the restaurant prepared for last call, the event’s organizers ordered a final round of drinks.

Half an hour later, two attendees walked into the parking lot. “That,” one of the men shouted, “was a great party.”

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