Roy Moore files political conspiracy complaint

Former US Senate candidate Roy Moore has filed a lawsuit against three women who made sexual assault accusations again him alleging conspiracy to bring down his Senate candidacy.

Posted: May 1, 2018 5:19 PM
Updated: May 1, 2018 5:22 PM

Failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore says the women who accused him of sexual assault were part of a political conspiracy, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

The suit was jointly filed with his wife, Kayla, about an hour before the two held a news conference. It was Moore's first public appearance since election night in December, when Moore, a Republican, was upset by Democrat Doug Jones. The defendants include three women who made accusations against Moore as well as two other people.

"This was filed because the people of Alabama deserve to know the truth," said Melissa Isaak, an attorney representing Moore. "The accusations made against Judge Moore during the US Senate campaign arose from a political conspiracy to destroy his personal reputation and defeat him in the special Senate election for United States Senate."

The suit is asking for compensatory damages from all defendants listed along with interest from the date of the injuries and the court costs. The suit is also asking for punitive damages "in an amount that will adequately reflect the enormity of the defendants' wrongful, outrageous acts" and an amount that will prevent similar acts.

Isaak said the accusations against Moore came from three women -- Leigh Corfman, Beverly Nelson and Tina Johnson -- not nine "as the press would have you believe." She noted the accusations were also made days within each other and came out 32 days before the December election.

"They were made for no other reason than to destroy his character," she said, adding that people must look at the time and context of the allegations made.

"If someone was sexually abused, I believe the last thing they'd do is speak with The Washington Post," she said.

Isaak said the defendants have ties to each other and the Democratic Party.

The complaint says during his 40 years in public office, no "suggestion of personal impropriety" had ever been raised against Moore.

The complaint also says the "liberal media" was eager to bury Moore's candidacy and has repeated over and over that nine women accused Moore.

"In fact only three women alleged improper conduct," the complaint reads.

Corfman, through an interview with The Washington Post, accused Moore of sexual misconduct when she was 14 in 1979, according to the complaint. Nelson accused Moore on national television of attacking her when she was 16 in 1977 and throwing her out of a vehicle when she resisted, the complaint reads. Johnson accused Moore of grabbing her buttocks when she was leaving his law office in 1991.

Corfman sued Moore in January. Moore filed a countersuit in April asking a state judge to stop all proceedings in Corfman's defamation lawsuit, calling the suit "frivolous and groundless."

Corfman's attorney, Neil Roman, said in a statement to CNN that Moore's latest claims "have no more merit than those he has made before. "

"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," the statement read. "Ms. Corfman is no longer a teenager and is not going let Mr. Moore victimize her again."

The other two people named in the complaint -- Richard Hagedorn and Debbie Wesson Gibson -- are accused of "revealing their true political agenda to ignore the truth" through social media posts that looked to "discredit local politicians and Senate candidates."

Paula Cobia, who represents Johnson, said Moore's accusations of "political conspiracy" are frivolous and that he"acted and sounded like a guilty person running scared" during his press conference.

"Mr. Moore said nothing new and is using this as another attempt to fleece money from his followers," Cobia said, adding that Moore claims "to be broke despite" receiving about $200,000 a year in pension from Alabama.

Cobia also said Moore still hasn't conceded the US Senate race in Alabama and thinks he could have won. She said he "seems oblivious" to the other reasons he may have lost such as his being kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice and his negative statements against the LGBTQ community, same-sex marriage, women, minorities, immigrants and Muslims.

"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."

Richard Hagedorn did not provide comment, per his attorney's advice.

CNN is attempting to reach Deborah Gibson and Beverly Nelson.

Since the women's allegations went public, Isaak said Moore and his family have suffered socially and professionally. The complaint states that not only did Moore lose his bid for the US Senate seat, but also that his "opportunity to run for political office was impaired." Moore and his wife's reputation and finances were also damaged, according to the complaint.

"Every way you can possibly think, this family has been devastated," she said.

"I'm prepared to go through depositions," Moore said. He also has taken a lie detector test, which Cobia disputes. "Who else is taking a lie detector test?"

Moore also told reporters he had no plans to run for office, so that's not his motive for filing the suit.

"I'm fueled by the truth," he said.

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