Moore Campaign Attempts To Refute Mall Ban And One Accuser’s Story

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at the Vestavia Hills Public library, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. According to a Washington Post story Nov. 9, an Alabama woman said Moore made inappropriate advances and had sexual contact with her when she was 14. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/AP

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore attempted on Monday evening to refute allegations about Moore being banned from a mall in his hometown and debunk the allegations of one of his accusers.

“On Monday evening, the Moore Campaign unveiled statements from key witnesses that completely bust the story of Beverly Nelson and Gloria Allred and further reveal an unconscionable bias on the part of state and national press to hide the truth from Alabama voters who will undoubtedly see through the ‘fake news’ and elect Judge Moore for the man that they have always known him to be,” one of the statements said, referencing Nelson’s accusations that surround her encounter with Moore at the Olde Hickory House restaurant. The second statement about the mall also attacked the media.

Nelson came forward with her attorney Allred last week after The Washington Post first reported that Moore allegedly pursued relationships or made unwanted sexual advances toward multiple women when they were teens and Moore was in his 30s.

Nelson said Moore allegedly offered her a ride home from the Olde Hickory House restaurant where she worked when she was 16. He then allegedly parked his car near dumpsters behind the building and attempted to force her to have sex with him, she said. Nelson has also gone public with her high school yearbook, which she claims Moore signed.

Moore has vehemently denied all the accusations against him and his campaign’s main line of defense has been questioning the legitimacy of the signature in Nelson’s yearbook. In Monday evening’s statements, the campaign quoted multiple witnesses who worked at Olde Hickory House, attempting to poke holes in Nelson’s account of the incident.

A former waitress said the restaurant didn’t hire anyone under the age of 16, but Nelson said she was 15 when she started. Two former employees questioned the location of the dumpster, saying it was on the side of the building, not the back. A few of Moore’s witnesses said there wasn’t an entrance to the building from the back of the parking lot and another former employee said the restaurant never closed before 11 p.m., which they said contradicts Nelson’s claims that the restaurant closed at 10 p.m. the night of the alleged assault.

The campaign also claimed that these witness accounts had been shared with multiple news outlets, but “the outlets have failed to report.”

The second statement included quotes from three former employees of Gadsden mall, one of whom oversaw mall security, attempting to discredit reports that Moore was banned from the mall because of his alleged behavior toward teenage girls.

One witness, Johnnie V. Sanders, who the Moore campaign said was an employee of Gadsden Mall from the late 1970s to the mid-2000s, said there was a different “prominent” man who was banned from the mall for similar reasons and said he may have been confused with Moore.

“There was a prominent man of Etowah County, whom is now deceased that was banned for reasons such as the allegations against Judge Moore. However, due to respect for the family, I decline to reveal his name,” Sanders said in the statement. “Despite allegations against other patrons of the mall, I never heard of Roy Moore’s name come in conversation with any such misconduct against women or a supposed banning from the Gadsden Mall.”

Moore campaign strategist Brett Doster said the campaign put out the statements to combat the “one-sided reporting” on the accusations against the former judge.

“The people of Alabama are tired of false accusations and one-sided reporting from the liberal media,” Doster said in the statement. “Truth matters or it doesn’t and the Moore Campaign will deliver the truth about the character of Judge Roy Moore to affirm what the people of Alabama are already convinced of.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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