Following a report in The New York Times that revealed embattled Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh was questioned by the New Haven Police Department following a 1985 bar fight after a UB40 concert, a spokesperson for the band provided Billboard with a statement about the incident today (Oct. 2).
According to the report, Kavanaugh was an undergraduate at Yale when he was accused of throwing ice onto another man, whom a friend said the judge believed was the singer of the reggae-pop band.
“Obviously, there must have been an assault because the police were called and a report was filed, but this is a case of mistaken identity and has nothing to do with UB40,” a spokesperson for UB40 founding member guitarist/vocalist Robin Campbell tells Billboard. (Singer Ali Campbell left the group in 2008.)
Chad Ludington, Kavanaugh’s classmate at Yale and a former basketball player for the university, brought the decades-old incident to light in a recent statement.
“On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face,” Ludington wrote. He said that Kavanaugh “threw his beer” at a man sitting at the bar who the group first believed might be the singer of the reggae band UB40, who they had just seen in concert. The man then swung at Kavanaugh and his friend, fellow Yale basketball player Chris Dudley, struck him with a bottle, Ludington said.
The alleged victim of the incident, Dom Cozzolino, was reportedly hit in the ear with glass by Dudley. Cozzolino was later treated at a local hospital. According to the report, Dudley denied the accusation and Kavanaugh did not say if he threw the ice or not.
Kavanaugh’s drinking habits in high school and college were a topic of debate during last week’s Senate hearing, where Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford — who accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her in high school — also testified. Ludington said he believed Kavanaugh “mischaracterized the extent” of his drinking during the hearing. Ludington also said he has been in touch with the FBI, who are currently investigating Kavanaugh and the claims against him.
UB40’s new album, For The Many, is due out in early 2019.