Roy Moore: Accuser now ‘admits to lying’

By Art Moore

Beverly Young Nelson, left, with lawyer Gloria Allred, at a news conference Nov. 13, 2017, declaring she was sexually assaulted by U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 16.
Beverly Young Nelson, left, with lawyer Gloria Allred, at a news conference Nov. 13, 2017, declaring she was sexually assaulted by U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 16.

Pointing to a TV interview broadcast Friday in which Beverly Young Nelson admitted she annotated the yearbook inscription that she offered as the best evidence of her claim that Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her 40 years ago, the Moore campaign told reporters they should conclude Nelson has undermined her credibility and that nothing in her story should be believed.

“The voters are going to have to decide, were they lying then or are they lying now?” said Moore attorney Philip Jauregui, referring to a Nov. 13 news conference in New York in which Nelson made her claim with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred.

Moore is now in a tight race for a normally safe Republican seat with Democratic opponent Doug Jones ahead of next Tuesday’s special election.

President Trump, later Friday, held a rally in Pensacola, Florida, just 20 miles from the Alabama border. Some analysts speculated Trump is trying to rally the Republican base in Alabama for Moore while keeping some distance from him.

Trump has stated his support for Moore and telephoned him this week to offer encouragement. But White House officials insisted Friday the rally is about the tax reform bill and has nothing to do with Moore.

Nelson claims that when she was 16, Moore offered her a ride home from the Gadsden, Alabama, restaurant where she worked but instead parked the car and tried to sexually assault her. She said Moore told her not to tell anyone about the alleged incident, saying no one would believe her because of her youth and his status as deputy district attorney.

She presented the yearbook, which she said was signed by Moore, at the Nov. 13 news conference with Allred in New York to bolster her claim.

Jauregui noted that Nelson and Allred declared at the time that everything in the yearbook inscription was written by Moore.

“Today, it’s a different story, isn’t it?” he said Friday.

The text in the yearbook states: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas, Christmas, 1977, Love, Roy Moore, D.A., Olde Hickory House.”

The lawyer renewed his demand that the yearbook be released to an independent handwriting expert to determine, for one, how old the ink is.

Earlier Friday, Moore tweeted, referring to Nelson: “Now she herself admits to lying.”

Inscription in Beverly Nelson's yearbook.
Inscription in Beverly Nelson’s yearbook.

Nelson: ‘I stand by my previous statement’

However, Nelson and Allred, at a press conference Friday, stood by their claim that Moore inscribed a message in the yearbook.

Allred clarified that Nelson added the date and location to Moore’s message.

“Beverly indicates she added that to remind herself of who Roy Moore was and where and when Mr. Moore signed her yearbook,” Allred said.

Allred released a report of the findings of a handwriting expert, Arthur T. Anthony, who concluded the signature is Moore’s.

“I want everyone to know that I stand by my previous statement that Roy Moore sexually assaulted me,” Nelson said.

In the interview with ABC News, Nelson admitted she added “notes” beneath what she claims is Moore’s signature.

“He did sign it,” she told ABC.

Interviewer Tom Llamas then asked, “And you made some notes underneath?”

Nelson replied, “Yes.”

Nelson, who says she is a Republican and a Donald Trump supporter, is one of three women who have accused Moore of sexual assault. Leigh Corfman alleges that when she was 14, Moore took her to his home where he removed her clothes, touched her over her bra and underwear, and had her touch him when he was wearing only his underwear. Tina Johnson claims he groped her in his law office.

Six others – described by a Moore spokeswoman as “non-accusers,” meaning they don’t claim sexual assault – are on the record claiming Moore behaved “inappropriately,” asking them for a date, or dating them when he was in his early 30s and they were teens. The most serious claim among the six is that Moore “forcefully” kissed her, leaving her “scared.” Others claim his advances made them uncomfortable, and one says she enjoyed dating him at the time, but, “in retrospect,” she finds it “inappropriate” that a man in his 30s would pursue a teen girl.

‘I do not know any of these women’

In recent campaign speeches, Moore has claimed he didn’t even know any of his accusers.

At a Nov. 29 event in Theodore, Alabama, for example, he said in response to an opposition ad in which eight of the accusers were pictured: “Let me state once again: I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone.”

Roy Moore at a news conference in Birmingham, Alabama, with is wife, Kayla Moore, right, Nov.16, 2017.
Roy Moore at a news conference in Birmingham, Alabama, with is wife, Kayla Moore, right, Nov.16, 2017.

His detractors charge his denials show he is lying, pointing out he told Sean Hannity in a radio interview Nov. 10 that he knew Debbie Wesson Gibson and Gloria Thacker Deason, who have claimed Moore dated them when they were teens.

Moore told Hannity he remembered Gibson and Deason as “good girls, but didn’t recall dating the women, although he admitted it’s possible he did.

However, when Hannity pressed a third time, asking Moore to state “unequivocally” whether or not he dated any teens when he was in his 30s, he said no.

And Moore agreed with Hannity that it would have been “inappropriate” as a man in his 30s to date teens.

Hannity: You can say unequivocally you never dated anybody that was in their late teens like that when you were 32?

Moore: It would have been out of my customary behavior. That’s right.

Hannity: In other words, you don’t recall ever dating a girl that young when you were that old?

Moore: I’ve said, “No.”

Hannity: And you think that’s inappropriate? That’s what you’re saying?

Moore: Inappropriate. Yes.

Earlier this week, Gibson showed the Washington Post a high school graduation card she said she received from Moore that she recently discovered in her attic.

The handwritten message reads: “Happy graduation Debbie. I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”

She said she dated Moore when she was 17 and he was 34. It was a relationship she said she “wore like a badge of honor” until she began reevaluating it in light of the accounts of other women and, later, Moore’s denials.

She told the Post she decided to make the card public when Moore declared he didn’t know any of his accusers.

“He called me a liar,” said Gibson, who said that in addition to dating him, she passed out fliers for his campaign for circuit court judge in 1982 and exchanged Christmas cards with him over the years.

“Roy Moore made an egregious mistake to attack that one thing – my integrity,” she said.

Corfman also decided to speak out again after Moore declared he didn’t know any of his accusers.

She wrote a letter published Nov. 28 by Alabama’s AL.com demanding Moore stop attacking her character by calling her a liar.

Corfman called on Moore to end his “smears and false denials.”

“The initial barrage of attacks against me voiced by your campaign spokespersons and others seemed petty so I did not respond,” her letter stated.

“But when you personally denounced me last night and called me slanderous names, I decided that I am done being silent. What you did to me when I was 14 years old should be revolting to every person of good morals. But now you are attacking my honesty and integrity. Where does your immorality end?

“I demand that you stop calling me a liar and attacking my character. Your smears and false denials, and those of others who repeat and embellish them, are defamatory and damaging to me and my family,” Corfman wrote.

“I am telling the truth, and you should have the decency to admit it and apologize.”

The night before Corfman wrote her letter, Moore told supporters at a rally in Henager, Alabama, the accusations are part of a scheme by Democrats to draw attention from the issues.

“Why are they doing this? I’m going to tell you why they are doing this,” he said. “They are trying to hide the true issues which affect the people of this country and this state that they want resolved.”

Moore said it’s “no different than when the Washington Post brought out the Russia investigation at a time when President Trump is trying to get his agenda passed.”

Beverly Young Nelson’s claims

Allred said at Nelson’s initial Nov. 13 news conference that within two years of the alleged incident, Nelson told her sister Moore had attacked her. Nelson’s mother, according to Allred, was told of the allegation only four years ago.

Nelson claimed that when she was 15, she knew Moore as a regular customer at the Olde Hickory House restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama.

At the time, Moore was the district attorney for Etowah County, she said.

Nelson said Moore regularly flirted with her, and she did not respond to him, noting she had a boyfriend. On one night in 1977, shortly after her 16th birthday, she was waiting for her boyfriend after finishing a shift, she claimed, when Moore offered to give her a ride home. Nelson explained her boyfriend was late, and she accepted Moore’s offer.

She alleged that instead of taking her home, Moore drove behind the restaurant to an isolated spot and stopped the car.

Moore campaign spokesman Stan Cooke argued at a Nov. 21 news conference that former waitresses at the Old Hickory House restaurant said employees had to be 16 years old.

And the dumpsters, where Nelson claimed Moore parked his car and tried to assault her, “were located to the side, not to the back,” he said.

“Nelson claimed that Judge Moore came in every night and sat at the counter, but employees told us that regular customers who sat at the counter were served by the short order cook and almost never interacted with the wait staff,” he said.

Nelson said that when Moore stopped the car behind the restaurant, she asked him what he was doing.

“Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts,” Nelson said. “I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and locked it so I could not get out.”

She said she “tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch.”

“I continued to struggle,” Nelson said, “I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face.”

Nelson said that at some point “he gave up” and then told her: “You are a child. I am the district attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.”

She said Moore “finally allowed me to open the car door and I either fell out or he pushed me out.”

“I was on the ground as he pulled out of the parking area behind the restaurant,” she said. “The passenger door was open as he burned rubber pulling away leaving me laying there on the cold concrete in the dark.”

Nelson said she went home and the following morning, “my neck was black and blue and purple.”

She said Moore “no longer has any power over me, and I no longer live in fear of him.”

Roy Moore accuser Leigh Corfman speaks to the “Today” show:

[jwplayer 9yzNYHSR]

Leigh Corfman’s allegations

Corfman was at the center of the Washington Post story that brought the accusations into the Senate race. Corfman told the paper she met Moore in February 1979 at the Etowah County courthouse when she was 14 and he a 32-year-old district attorney. She said Moore offered to watch her while her mother attended a custody hearing and asked for her phone number. Days later, she said. Moore drove her to his house and kissed her. During a second encounter, he allegedly took off her shirt and pants and touched her over her underwear and led her hands to touch him over his underwear.

Leigh Corfman when she was about 14
Leigh Corfman when she was about 14

In his interview with Hannity, Moore declared: “It never happened.”

“I don’t know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they’re politically motivated,” he said.

Corfman later said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” she “didn’t deserve to have a 32-year-old man prey upon” her.

She said didn’t seek out the Post to tell her story.

“I didn’t go looking for this, it fell in my lap,” she said.

Corfman said she’s voted Republican for many years and insisted “this isn’t political for me.”

Asked by “Today” host Savannah Guthrie if she had been paid, Corfman said no, adding “if anything, this has cost me” financially, because she has taken leave from her job since the Post reported her accusations.

Corfman said she felt guilty after the alleged incident.

“I felt like I was the one to blame. It was decades before I was able to let that go,” she said.

Moore’s campaign claims there are several problems with Corfman’s story.

At a news conference, Nov. 21, a longtime Moore aide, Ben DuPré, said the campaign found documents that show Corfman lived more than a mile from the intersection where she said Moore picked her up for dates in 1979. DuPré also told reporters the pickup location was across a major thoroughfare, calling it “another improbable fact in Leigh Corfman’s own words and story that the media has not bothered to investigate.”

Corfman’s mother, Nancy, claims she and Leigh lived at the time on Whittier Street in Gadsden, around the corner from Alcott Road and Riley Street, where Leigh says she met Moore. The Washington Post found confirmation of the Whittier Street address in a police report about property theft published in the Gadsden Times on March 31, 1980.

The Moore campaign did not provide the Post with requested documentation of another address.

DuPré also pointed to a Breitbart News story arguing court records show that on Feb. 21, 1979 – the date Moore would have met Corfman if her story is true – the court ordered the 14-year-old to move to her father’s house March 4, 1979, in another town, meaning the two alleged encounters with Moore would have had to have taken place within just 12 days.

However, Leigh Corfman claims Moore picked her up the first time “days” after they met outside the courtroom and the second date soon followed.

DuPré also took issue with Corfman’s claim that her life spiraled out of control after the alleged incident, noting her parents had described in legal filings concerns for their daughter’s behavior following their separation.

DuPré then pointed to a Breitbart story that quoted Corfman’s mother saying there was no phone in her daughter’s room in 1979.

However, both Leigh Corfman and her mother have said they had a phone on a long cord in the hallway that could be brought into the daughter’s room.

Breitbart News also has reported it obtained copies of court documents indicating a possible motive for Tina Johnson’s accusation that Moore groped her in 1991 when she was in his law office regarding a contentious battle for the custody of her son.

Moore represented Johnson’s mother, who ultimately was awarded custody of the 12-year-old son. Johnson described her daughter as an unfit, absent and unstable mother with a “violent nature,” noting she “has been treated by a psychiatrist when she was approximately 15 years of age.”

A One News America report questioned the motive of retired Alabama police officer Faye Gray, who claims she was ordered to keep an eye on Moore at sporting events and at the Gadsden Mall because he was known to make unwanted advances on teen girls. OAN said two of Gray’s sons were arrested for drug distribution, and Moore prosecuted a case in 1981 in which Gray’s brother, Jimmy Wright, was arrested for distributing controlled substances. OAN’s report also found that Moore ruled, in an alimony case, against convicted drug dealer Richard Hagedorn, who OAN said is the brother of longtime Washington Post editor David Hagedorn.

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