Strange lost in the Republican run-off election to Moore. He’s a lame duck loyal to Majority leader Mitch McConnell. There is ample motive for both the Democrats and the establishment Republicans to see that Roy Moore lose on the twelfth. But why? How? The narrative is that Moore, a vocal Christian, is a serial sexual predator. A claim Moore emphatically denies. The reason behind this never-before-made accusation is simple: political power is closely guarded and billions are at stake.
Like any good political thriller there are characters integral to the fiction driving forward the narrative. This story has a number of them. I’ve pieced together what can be found on the stakeholders, the accusers and power players both.
This story is updated as new allegations and facts come to light. Last updated 12/08
A 53 year-old payday loan representative with the most damaging allegation. Aged 14 at the time of the supposed incident, which would’ve made her a minor despite the statute of limitations running out on any possible legal action, carries with it the smear of hebephilia. The Washington Post broke Corfman’s story.
Corfman said she voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections. A voting registration has yet to be produced and her political opinions have been hard to verify considering she has since removed her LinkedIn profile and Facebook page. Regardless, the timing is suspect, and we know voting for Trump doesn’t absolve you from supporting establishment hacks Romney and McCain. What’s her angle? Corfman claims the Post sought her out for their piece, but why now?
The Washington Post has the exclusive. They eagerly present the lurid details as follows:
Corfman says she told two high-school friends about the incident after it happened. In the Post article is clearly states, “she told two friends in vague terms that she was seeing an older man.” Betsy Davis, who remains friendly with Corfman, says “she clearly remembers Corfman talking about seeing an older man named Roy Moore when they were teenagers.”
How do you tell someone in “vague terms” about an incident with an older man but explicitly give his name? Sure, vague might mean Corfman kept the horrible details of what occurred to herself but she went out of her way to specifically name the judge in her recount? I merely point this out because the adjective “vague” is odd and the context is left unexplained.
What we do know about the teenage Corfman comes from her own confession. She admits to being a reckless teen involved with “drinking, drugs…” and when asked about her reputation in Gadsden she says,
There is no one here that doesn’t know that I’m not an angel…
Now thrice divorced, having declared bankruptcy, and battling persistent financial issues Corfman acknowledges that reputation “might undermine her credibility.”
What proves more damaging to her credibility is an inconsistency found in the
In light of Corfman’s financial issues the Washington Post has yet to answer if they provided Leigh Corfman with any money in return for her story. As to why Corfman waited until now to come forward she “thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them.”
Fair enough, I suppose, but why now – as in why after the run-off election when the Republican Party she claims to support could’ve better dealt with the accusations?
That question was answered by Corfman, when she later appeared on NBC’s TODAY. Curious how Mrs. Corfman comes out now, almost two weeks after the original allegations but immediately after the news cycle turned to exposing a number of prominent Democrats for admitted sexual misconduct. Predictably, Corfman and her handlers want to refocus the public’s ire on Moore. And what is learned from this televised sit down with TODAY?
Nothing of substance, she repeats the same points made in the Post. Corfman does, however, blame the incident with Moore as the origin of her troubled life (quoted above). What a convenient way to write off all the character criticism she’s since received. A lifetime of bad decisions and a terrible reputation around town now all attributed to Roy Moore. Yet this seminal moment, which had such a negative impact on her life, she waited decades to publicly address? I don’t buy it. Why did she not come forward in her latter teen years–after the incident but before she had children–when she suffered from drinking and drug use?
She, now, easily deflects to her kids as an excuse for the silence, but when asked why specifically now, conveniently a month before the election instead of last year or the year before (her kids are adults at this point) when Moore was a rising star she cannot answer. Corfman also claims the Post did not compensate her for the story but did NBC TODAY? Did she pay for her own flights and stay in New York City? She was so afraid to come out all those years but admits to “looking forward to being an advocate for people like me.” I wonder, does that advocacy involve more paid media gigs and jet-setting? I’d expect so in the weeks leading up to the election.
The article on NBCnews featuring Corfman’s appearance includes an interview with her teenage friend. This supposedly corroborates the story, it reads:
“Meanwhile, a woman who was friends with Corfman when the two were teenagers backed up her account, explaining during a separate interview with NBC News that a mutual friend had relayed the harrowing story to her decades ago .
The friend, Patti Spradlin, added that Moore long had a particular reputation in their hometown of Gadsden, Ala… ‘Creepy, in a word,’ Spradlin said , explaining that she and her friends would see Moore at the Gadsden mall ‘almost every weekend.’ ”
Remember “creepy” – it’s an oft repeated label by those against Moore (many former Gadsden mall employees) who have zero actual proof of his wrongdoing but perpetuate the rumor. And since when is hearsay credible? This friend Spradlin admits to hearing the harrowing tale from “a mutual friend” not the victim herself. Talk about a teenage game of telephone played years later, and we are supposed to take her word for it? Pass. We can, however, look forward to Mz. Spradlin getting in on the action as she is set to appear on NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt tonight (11/21).
Why are they bringing on a woman who didn’t hear the story directly from the alleged victim, who has nothing of value to add to the conversation? How much is she being paid? As I understand it NBC is desperate to continue the smear against Moore while more and more Democrats are exposed for their sexual misconduct.
A 56 year-old housewife from Alabama. Claimed she was 16 when the alleged incident took place behind the Old Hickory House in Gadsden. She professes to be a Trump supporter and that her coming forward now “has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats.” Yet Alabama voting records indicate Young Nelson is “inactive” and while she could’ve voted the polling station would’ve updated her registration information afterwards. A year later, however, it has yet to change.
If Young Nelson felt she had to come forward, why now? Why did she wait until after the Republican run-off that saw the Trump-backed Luther Strange defeated? I guess, if we are to believe her, it has nothing to do with politics but that alone is hard to believe. As are many of the “facts” she laid out.
Young Nelson retained the services of infamous legal-hatchet-woman Gloria Allred. On November 13th she held a news conference and told her story for the first time. Per Mrs. Young Nelson’s own statement:
The only piece of evidence produced so far against Moore is Beverly Young Nelson’s yearbook. She claims the judge signed it around the time the alleged sexual misconduct occurred.
To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say
Errr, wait. It’s Love Roy. Supposedly: Love Roy Moore D.A.
I’d get confused too if the oddly phrased message were originally written with a rhyme in mind. No wonder Mrs. Young Nelson’s attorney Gloria Allred also said “Love Ray” before being corrected. Who is Ray? I’m not sure, perhaps a past beau who wrote the poem to be cute. The ‘a’ in the body’s text looks an awful lot like the ‘a’ in the signature. But I digress…
CNN tweeted out a close up of the yearbook afterwards. Notice anything odd? I do too, the two ink colors to be exact. It’s as if someone wrote in “Moore D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House” with a newer, fresher blue ink long after the original text had been inscribed.
Beverly Young Nelson said Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore wrote a message in her yearbook in December 1977 that said, "To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, 'Merry Christmas.'"
— CNN (@CNN) November 13, 2017
More curious is how, at the original presser, Allred chose to hand out black-and-white copies of the yearbook to the media in attendance. Would that be because color copies would likely reveal the questionable ink? Even CNN caught on, but loyal as ever to the smear-campaign they made sure to share a monocromatic copy in their latest twitter update.
Roy Moore's lawyer denies one woman's sexual assault allegation and demands that a handwriting expert examine a note she says the Alabama Senate candidate wrote https://t.co/twoWBb11Q2 pic.twitter.com/1iFNSPqFqu
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) November 15, 2017
Young Nelson conveniently forgot the time Moore was the Etowah County Circuit Court judge who presided over her divorce case in 1999. A fact he backed up with a copy of the divorce paperwork which bore his signature. The signature that Allred’s client likely used to forge the yearbook. Even more suspect were the initials “D.A.” written after the yearbook signature, which also appeared on the divorce papers.
The judge’s counsel called to attention that Moore was not the district attorney in 1977 but the deputy. They said he would never write initials indicating as much, given that wasn’t his position. Recall in Young Nelson’s statement above she repeatedly states that Moore was the district attorney at the time, a proven falsehood. Then why was D.A. written in the yearbook?
The initials, it’s now believed, reflect the practice of Moore’s assistant. One Dilbert Adams. At the time of Young Nelson’s divorce, in the late 90s, Adams would stamp the judge’s legal paperwork with his initials D.A. to certify the work. It is more than likely Young Nelson, when forging the signature, mistakenly believed it done by Moore’s own hand (wrongly) touting his old position.
If that wasn’t damning enough Judge Moore later explained how the divorce was “a matter that apparently caused her no distress at a time [and] that was 18 years closer to the alleged assault.” So why does she come forward now? This omission, on her part, discredits every other allegation she made.
55 years-old and currently living on disability, she claims to be religious but apolitical. She broke decades of silence and only came forward recently because “somebody asked.” The motivation is ostensibly one of concern. Her allegation stems from a brief encounter with Moore in 1991, when Johnson would’ve been 28. Court documents verify they had business.
The incident occurred in Moore’s law office in Gadsden, where Johnson met with the then-attorney to deal with a custody arrangement involving her mother, whom was also present. Her story is featured in AL.com:
Tina Johnson was touched, no “grabbed” inappropriately, and didn’t protest the moment it happened, in the presence of her mother no less? She quietly endured the abuse and felt no need to bring up the incident afterwards with her mother or anyone else?
Apparently Johnson did tell someone. According to the AL.com article “she told her sister years later how Moore had made her feel uncomfortable during that meeting. Her sister told AL.com she remembers the conversation.”
Annnnddd..? Am I the only one left to wonder exactly how many years later this retelling occurred? Are we talking 6 or 16? This matters, but the journalist’s at AL.com didn’t figure it necessary to ask.
That might not be important if Tina Johnson was a trustworthy individual. By her own admission, however, she is not.
I’m not perfect. I have things in my background and I know [the public] will jump on anything, but what happened is still the truth, and the truth will stand when the world won’t.
At the time Johnson was “in a difficult marriage headed toward divorce, and unemployed.” She was at Moore’s office to forfeit custody of her young son, due in part to her imperfect behavior.
She has since pled guilty to writing bad checks, and for third-degree theft of property. These facts alone show moral turpitude and damage her credibility. Reputation, in a he-said-she-said event, matters. Meanwhile Judge Moore enjoyed decades of public life and the associated scrutiny and no misconduct was found.
“This is not a politics thing with me,” Johnsons told AL.com, “it’s more of a moral and religious thing.” And those were the sentiment’s she also shared with Megyn Kelly on “Today.” I wonder how much Mz Johnson was paid to appear on television? For a woman with little income and past financial troubles I’m sure there was something to be gained.
For the sake of formatting I’ve lumped the various accusations stemming from Moore’s alleged conduct at the Gadsden Mall into this one section. This is, in part, due to several claims being intertwined but also because some of the them are extremely short accounts (despite the media’s attempt to make mountains from molehills). Bear with me as I lay out what is said and what is actually known. Note: I’ve only addressed accusations made by named sources.
The common theme is that Moore, in the late 70s through the mid 80s, supposedly used the Gadsden Mall as a hunting ground to meet young women. This behavior, its alleged, was well known among mall workers. So much so that Moore was eventually banned from the shopping complex. Various media outlets have recently sought out former mall employees and constructed a narrative from their accounts. First, let me provide you with a little background on the Gadsden Mall given by The New Yorker:
The journalist, Charles Bethea, from the New Yorker sought out a ban-list that bore Moore’s name. Definitive proof that the judge (then-deputy district attorney) was indeed a known offender. The journalist came away with nothing of the sort, but what he lacked in hard evidence he made up for with anecdotes. Decades old stories from former mall employees now eager to share.
Bethea admits he, “spoke or messaged with more than a dozen people… who told [him] that they had heard, over the years, that Moore had been banned from the mall because he repeatedly badgered teen-age girls.” Unsubstantiated gossip, it doesn’t get any more salacious than that! One particularly long account in the New Yorker features a former mall employee named Greg Legat.
He is 59 and lives in East Gadsden. Legat worked at the Record Bar in the Gadsden Mall from 1981 to 1985. Legat told Bethea he “saw Moore there a few times” during his stint. In his own words Legat recalls:
“[Moore’s ban] started around 1979, I think, I know the ban was still in place when I got there.” Legat mentions a Gadsden police officer named J. D. Thomas, now retired, who worked mall security at the time. Legat continues, “J. D. told me, ‘If you see Roy, let me know. He’s banned from the mall.’” Yet when the New Yorker tried to verify this with J.D. Thomas the retired officer would not confirm if a ban on Moore had existed. “I don’t have anything to say about that,” Thomas told them.
Mr. Legat appears days later on CNN to give another interview. Some important tidbits are revealed. CNN’s Gary Tuchman asks Legat, “did you ever see [Moore] in the mall?” To which he responds,
“I think I saw him walk by the front of the store once.
Legat’s not even sure he actually saw Moore in the mall before 1985. The former mall employee does say with certainty that “in ’85, before I left, Roy came in one day with his wife and bought records and left, and no one said anything about it.” Remember, Legat sold records, and the only time he can acutely recall seeing Moore was when he and his wife actually set foot in the store. Beyond that it’s all uncertain and vague. But it gets better.
CNN’s Tuchman tells Anderson Cooper that when “[Legat] was hired he was told that the mall had a list of people banned from the mall. If he saw any of those people on the unofficial list , he was to report it.” Ahhh, so it’s now an “unofficial list” the mall kept, that’s some backpedaling if I’d ever heard it.
Why the qualifier Mr. Legat? You failed to mention the ban list was unofficial to the New Yorker. I think might I know why. A former Gadsden Mall manager, Barnes Boyle, denies Moore was banned. Boyle, who managed the mall from 1981 to 1996 and plans to vote for the judge in December, told WBRC:
we did have written reports and things. But to my knowledge, [Moore] was not banned from the mall.
Boyle acknowledged a ban list existed. There is nothing unofficial about the mall tracking undesirables; the reason Legat changed his tune was because he couldn’t back up his original claim. I guess “unofficial” now means understood but not provable.
Legat ends the CNN interview admitting, “I don’t know anything about any [of Moore’s] behavior towards any women.” Boom. Case closed. He can only remember seeing the judge and his wife once, and he never witnessed Moore acting inappropriate. How much was Legat compensated I wonder? Or was he simply being a dutiful Democrat and doing it for free. Wait what?
Yeah, it should come as no surprise that Greg Legat, given name Stephen Greg Legat, is progressive liberal with an anti-Trump obsession. At least that’s what can be learned from his Facebook page whereon he likes groups such as “Progressive Liberals, Proud Democrat, Expose Trump, Anti-Trump Army,” and so on. This fact was absent on both CNN and in the New Yorker.
A 58 year-old community college teacher. Her encounter with Moore occurred in 1977 when she was a high school senior working at Sears. The Washington Post carried her story. It details how a persistent Moore badgered young women at the Gadsden Mall.
Yet Richardson says she never spoke to Moore again after the car incident. So how often did Moore return to Sears after being rejected? How many times did McLaughlin have to warn her friend? And Moore never asked where Richardson was, or if she was working – when she actually hid out? McLaughlin doesn’t say.
Richardson and McLaughlin give, in detail, their understanding of Moore’s poor reputation at the mall, yet Richardson not only agreed to go on a date with him but afterwards thought the incident was merely “isolated” – despite Moore’s alleged tomcatting. Moreover she said nothing until now.
Now 59 and still a Gadsden resident. She worked at a coat store (Brooks) in the mall and was 19 when encountering Moore. Her pithy portion in Post article says it all.
Why would the Post include this? Moore never even spoke to her nor did she see inappropriate behavior. But she was simply “creeped out” by his presence, so creeped out Smith admits perpetrating a lie to new employees that they must “watch out” for Moore – despite zero evidence of wrongdoing on his part, damning stuff. I’m amazed that she’d admit to fear-mongering based on gossip alone.
A retired teacher, 62 years of age. Forty years ago, when she was 22, Gray worked at a department store in the mall (Pizitz). She says this was where Moore hit on her several times. Every time she refused his attentions, they were unwanted. Gray told ABC News:
“I went to my manager and talked to him about it and asked him, basically, what could be done. Later on, he came back through my department and told me that [Moore] had been banned from the mall.”
That Pizitz manager was Maynard von Spiegelfeld. Gray recalls how he told her this was “not the first time he had a complaint about [Moore] hanging out at the mall,” but Von Spiegelfeld has since died and there is no way to verify it. We do, however, know it’s based on a lie. As I point out above, according the the Gadsden Mall manager, Moore was not banned.
Gray then tells ABC News that she doesn’t recall the specifics of their interactions, only that she “just remember[s] he asked me out [and] I told him that I was in a relationship, because basically to me he was kind of creepy.” Ah, the “creepy” pejorative again, and yet she cannot recall any details of their conversations. She continues, “every Friday and Saturday night, he was down at the mall. Nobody his age is at the mall! You know, parents are dropping off their 12 year olds and 13 year olds, 14 year olds. I mean, come on, I just thought that was really creepy even way back then.”
Right, the mall is no place for a single guy in his early thirties with disposable income. Instead it’s meant to be a playground for young teens with little to spend. I bet that’s exactly how the owners of Pizitz, Brooks, Sears, and the Record Bar saw it.
And once again, Gray, like Smith and Legat, is a Democrat who supports Moore’s opponent in the Senate race. I’m seeing a pattern here…
Baseless accusations, never before heard gossip purported to be decades old, Democrats. The New Yorker‘s Bethea reveals “several [sources] asked that I leave their names out of this piece. The stories that they say they’ve heard for years…” It’s difficult to address accusers who withhold their names, it’s also poor journalism when you have next to nothing to corroborate the anecdotes. In the court of public opinion, however, you don’t have a right to face your accuser. You can only endure their smears.
For now, we wait while the final chapter in this political pulp-fiction is written.