As Donald Trump’s SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh faces the Senate Judiciary Committee, some particularly heinous details of his past have come to light. Multiple women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault. And Kavanaugh’s Yale roommate, James Roche has come out in support of Deborah Ramirez and her account of being sexually threatened by Kavanaugh.
In an article published on The Cut, Kavanaugh and Roche’s other roommate, openly gay activist, Kit Winter recalls his experience living with Kavanaugh. Although there was practically no social dynamic between the three of them, Winter fondly remembers Roche.
“For the last 35 years, if anybody had said, ‘Tell me about Jamie Roche,’ I would have said, ‘Jamie Roche is the most stand-up guy you would ever hope to meet,’” says Winter. “Jamie stood out as centered, mature — more of a gentleman than the frat boys. He had nice manners.”
His memory of Kavanaugh is not nearly as flattering. He recalls him and his frat brothers as “loud, obnoxious frat boy-like drunks.”
“There was a lot of vomit in the bathroom,” he says. “No one ever cleaned it up. It was disgusting. It wasn’t incidental. It wasn’t, ‘Oh, this weekend someone puked in the bathroom.’ People were constantly puking in the bathroom. Constantly.”
As a recently-out 18-year-old freshman, Winter felt more isolated at that point in his life. It didn’t help attending what was a much more conservative school at the time.
“I was out, but I was still a little alienated,” he says. “I was not really a joiner, I don’t think. Yale was not a particularly gay-friendly environment, but I was also not a particularly friendly person. I looked alienated. I felt alienated. I drank a lot.”
One memory Winter shared in the article was particularly cruel. One day, he came home to find a dead pigeon nailed to his door. It wasn’t the door of their suite, but to his bedroom.
“It wasn’t rotten or anything,” he says. “I assumed that someone found a dead bird on the ground. I interpreted it as an act of social hostility slash terrorism. I thought it was a very clear message. ‘We don’t like you, and we don’t want you here.’ I didn’t know who it was who didn’t want me here. I didn’t know who had done it.”
Winter didn’t call the police or tell any of the school’s administrators. Instead, he told a few friends and threw the bird away.
“I think my general response was, screw you. I’m not going anywhere,” he says.