Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore filed suit Monday against four women who have accused him of inappropriately touching them, claiming that their accusations were part of a political conspiracy aimed at toppling his Senate bid last year.
Four women were named in the suit, filed Monday in Etowah County, Alabama: Leigh Corfman, Debbie Wesson Gibson, Beverly Young Nelson and Tina Johnson. Also named was Richard Hagedorn, described as a friend of Corfman’s who had connections to The Washington Post through his brother, who works as a columnist for the newspaper.
“Each of the above named individuals conspired and … associated with each other in a common design and purpose for the political objective of defaming the character and reputation of Roy and (wife) Kayla Moore … to cause them to experience disgrace, shame and contempt,” Melissa Issak, an attorney for the Moores, wrote in the complaint.
Isaak accused Corfman, Nelson and Johnson of defaming the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice “by accusing him of immoral acts he never committed and adamantly denies.”
Corfman told The Washington Post in November that Moore touched her inappropriately when she was 14 years old in 1979, while he was an assistant district attorney in Etowah County, Alabama. Nelson said Moore groped her and tried to force her head toward his crotch after he offered to drive the teen home from her after-school job at a restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, in 1977. Johnson accused Moore of grabbing her buttocks in 1991 as she was leaving his law office with her mother.
Moore has repeatedly denied that the incidents took place.
"I never knew them," Moore said Monday at a news conference, according to AL.com. "There is no truth to (the allegations)."
In a statement issued to AL.com, Corfman’s attorney, Neil Roman, said the suit had no merit. Roman is also representing Corfman in a defamation suit she filed against the former judge in January.
“Leigh Corfman stands by the accuracy of every one of her statements about Mr. Moore’s sexual abuse of her when she was a 14-year-old high school freshman and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney,” Roman said. “Ms. Corfman is no longer a teenager and is not going to let Mr. Moore victimize her again.”
A spokeswoman for Johnson echoed Roman in a statement issued Monday night, saying that Moore’s suit was meritless.
“Mr. Moore said nothing new and is using this as another attempt to fleece money from his followers,” Paula Cobia said. “Ms. Johnson stands by and reaffirms the truthfulness of every statement she has made about the sexual assault she suffered from the hands of Mr. Moore. He has lost any power of intimidation he once held.”
Allegations that Moore inappropriately touched teenagers and young women kicked off a scandal that turned the tide of the race to fill the Senate seat left vacant when President Donald Trump chose then-Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as his attorney general. Moore lost the race in December by a narrow margin to Democrat Doug Jones.
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