Home / General / Perversity, Projection, and Power: the Ballad of Ken Starr

Perversity, Projection, and Power: the Ballad of Ken Starr


Plenty of telling stuff in Judi Hershman’s account of her history with Inquisitor General and rape cover-up artist Ken Starr. You will be unsurprised to learn that he was a driving force behind the sweetheart deal given by federal prosecutors to Jeffrey Epstein:

There was the time in January 2010 when I saw him in California — he was then dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law — and he asked me, if on my next visit to South Florida, I could extend myself to counsel a “very wealthy, very smart businessman who got himself into trouble for getting involved with a couple of underage girls who lied about their ages.” I confess I did not recognize Jeffrey Epstein’s name at the time, but I knew what statutory rape was and I couldn’t understand why Ken Starr would be involved with him. “Is this a church thing?” I asked. “Are you trying to ‘cure’ him? Why would you do this!” It did not occur to me that he might have been part of the legal team that executed a secret and egregious sweetheart deal for the convicted pedophile or that the stickler for details I knew Starr to be might be grossly undercounting the victims in question. “Everyone deserves representation, Judi,” he said, adding, “He promised to keep it above 18 from now on.” According to an alleged victim statement after the fact, the middle-aged, child molestor, Jeffrey Epstein, did not keep his sex with girls above the age of 18.

Hershman was, natch, Starr’s mistress while she was on his staff:

Our affair ran its course after a year or so of occasional encounters and a steady exchange of affectionate texts and emails. No fireworks, no drama. I remained his adviser and supporter and he mine and we continued to talk frequently. Later, when I was living and working in Texas, I tried to help him weather his beleaguered tenure at Baylor and then in 2016, when he was fired as a result of a rape scandal involving the college football team, I ran interference for him as best I could. It was a an interview I watched in 2020 with one of Baylor’s aggrieved accusers that helped me understand how I could have been blind for so long to the pattern of misogyny coursing through Starr’s career. Describing a meeting with Starr about her ordeal, she said that he shed a tear along with her, made her feel heard, but did nothing to help get justice for her or the many other female students who came forward with allegations. Unless you count what he said in one interview, “We grieve for what happened. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t say it’s a new day. That’s the biblical perspective that we try to live up to here at Baylor University.” Shamelessly and effectively, he shoved rape allegations under the carpet in the name of Christianity.

Brett Kavanaugh makes a cameo:

I can date the beginning of my own rebirth to July 9, 2018, the day Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court. I sent Starr a text saying, “You said to me 20 years ago, that Brett was ‘going places’ Clearly!” [punctuation sic] It was my first communication to Starr in memory that went unanswered, and I wondered if he picked up that my message had a bit of an edge. I had met Kavanaugh in 1998 when he was a 33-year-old member of then, Independent Counsel Starr’s team investigating Bill Clinton, and I was a 39-year-old strategic communications consultant hired to help prep Starr to present Congress with his legendary report detailing President Bill Clinton’s sexual interactions with a Monica Lewinsky. One day after a meeting at the independent counsel offices, I was alone in a conference room collecting materials when Kavanaugh entered. He began berating me and invading my personal space in a deranged fury that sent me into flight around the table.

The Republican Party was like this when Donald Trump was just a reality show host is what I’m saying.

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