After attending the nuptials of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May, there were rumors that Amal Clooney would also be at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on October 12. However, the British-Lebanese lawyer instead spent the day across the Atlantic, giving a keynote address at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Philadelphia.
The 16th annual nonprofit event, which also included speakers such as Serena Williams, brought together thousands of attendees to discuss issues affecting women in the workplace and beyond. During her speech, Beirut-born Clooney took aim at US President Donald Trump, who last month mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know,” the president joked, misrepresenting Ford’s answers when quizzed on claims that then-US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her in the 1980s.
Clooney took issue with Trump’s handling of the matter, telling attendees at the conference: “The president of a country should not publicly ridicule a woman who has come forward to allege abuse.” To applause, the human rights lawyer added that “survivors in any country deserve the chance to look their abusers in the eye and for history to record what has happened to them,” according to the Daily Mail. “For too long women have suffered without speaking out or without being believed. In the US, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds.” Clooney also touched on the #MeToo movement, describing it as a “defining moment in the struggle for women’s rights”. “We are living through a moment of reckoning and a rebalancing of power. There is still much for us to do. Still, I am optimistic,” she told the crowd.
Clooney has previously spoken out against Trump and his beliefs, telling the BBC in 2016 that his opinions didn’t represent “US values”. “I’m probably as perplexed as you are as somebody viewing these things,” the barrister said in a TV interview. “There’s an ad on the TV in the US where they went through all these statements he made against women and you watch that and you think ‘Gosh.’”