Michael Avenatti client Julie Swentick -- who made a media splash last week with sordid allegations against Brett Kavanaugh -- is now backing away from many of her most headline-grabbing accusations.
When Avenatti released her name to the public, he also released a sworn affidavit in which Swetnick made a series of claims about debauched parties Kavanaugh threw with his friend, Mark Judge.
The most serious are that they groped women, got women drunk against their consent, made degrading comments about women, drugged women, raped women, and even -- most egregiously -- arranged "gang rapes" of women.
In her first network interview since Avenatti sprung her onto the public, Swetnick backed away from her statement's claim that Kavanaugh spiked the punch at these parties, that anyone was raped at the parties, and that Kavanaugh had any role in "gang rapes." In effect, she backed away from the entire affidavit.
Michael Avenatti has recently been urging the media to ignore his client's gang rape claims and instead focus on the bawdry behavior she described in the affidavit, in which she says they got girls drunk, made lewd comments, and "grinded" on female partygoers.
Swetnick told NBC's Kate Snow that she's not actually sure that the punch was ever spiked, and if it was, if Kavanaugh had anything to do with it.
Snow herself acknowledged that Swetnick's statement about the punch contradicted her affidavit. When she asked Swetnick if Judge or Kavanaugh spiked the punch, as claimed in her statement, Swetnick says, "Well, I saw him giving red cups to quite a few girls during that time frame. ... I saw him around the punch containers. I don’t know what he did. But I saw him by them, yes."
Later, she backed away from her claim that gang rape was a frequent occurrence at these parties. Instead, she simply says she saw people hanging around a room and now, with the benefit of hindsight, believes they were doing so to serially rape a woman trapped inside. Swetnick also notably makes frequent reference to Kavanaugh and Judge "laughing," which is perhaps helpful as the media last week gave heavy replay to Ford alleging Kavanaugh laughing after Ford's alleged attack.
"I would see boys standing outside of rooms, congregated together," Swetnick said of the rape dens. "Sort of like a gauntlet. And I didn’t know what was occurring. But I would see them laughing, a lot of laughing."
Swetnick also backs away from the suggestions made by her attorney that Kavanaugh raped her. In fact, she doesn't actually say she herself was raped, but only that she was "physically assaulted" in "every way you can physically assault a woman."
Asked if Kavanaugh raped her, Swetnick replied: "I cannot specifically say that he was one of the ones who assaulted me. But before this happened to me, at that party, I saw Brett Kavanaugh there. I saw Mark Judge there. And they were hanging about the area where I started to feel disoriented and where the room was, and where the other boys were hanging out. And laughing. I could hear them laughing and laughing."
Swetnick also told NBC that the various lawsuits that have been filed against her -- including for defamation, sexual harassment, and fraud -- were all "caca." She did not apologize for any of the behavior she's been sued over, but instead claimed she's always been wrongly accused.
NBC's Snow said that Swetnick gave them some names of people who would be able to corroborate her story. One of them was dead, another said he didn't know her, and the other two didn't respond.