The woman who accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager has admitted she herself wrote part of the yearbook inscription used to support her initial allegations.
In a press conference Nov. 13, Beverly Young Nelson said Moore tried to force himself on her in a dark car behind the restaurant where she worked as a waitress in high school. It was the most serious of the multiple sexual misconduct allegations that have been levied against Moore.
Of the nine women who have stepped forward with claims about Moore’s past behavior, Nelson offered the only thing close to physical evidence — an inscription from Moore in her 1977 Gadsden High School Yearbook.
“To a sweeter, more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas’ — Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House,” it reads.
At the press conference, Nelson and her attorney, Gloria Allred, said Moore wrote those words weeks before the alleged assault. However, in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America on Dec. 8, Nelson acknowledged for the first time she herself had retroactively added the date and location under the inscription from Moore.
While she has confirmed those “notes” were in indeed added later, Nelson stood by her original story and told reporters at a press conference Friday that the rest of the inscription was written by Moore while he was an assistant district attorney in Etowah County, Alabama.
The same day, Allred released a report from a forensic document expert who analyzed Nelson’s yearbook and found the signature in it matched Moore’s based on a review of several documents the for jurist signed around the same period of time.
The Moore campaign has scheduled a press conference at 3 p.m. today to address the latest developments. However, his attorneys have repeatedly demanded the yearbook be turned over to “a neutral custodian” for similar evaluations and Allred has each time refused.
Moore has capitalized on that refusal daily through his social media accounts. Since Nov. 14, he has used Twitter to publicly count each day of “New York attorney Gloria Allred’s refusal to turn over her fake yearbook for third-party examination.”
With only four days to go until the election, many in Alabama seem divided over the allegations against Moore and whether they’re truthful or a political ploy to hurt his chances in the race.
Moore, however, has managed to regain some of the support he lost from own party when the allegations were first published.
Earlier this week — following the first direct endorsement from President Donald Trump — the Republican National Committee reinstated its support for Moore, which it pulled in mid-November. Since then, the proliferation of pro-Moore ads on TV and online has noticeably ramped up.
Ads supporting Moore’s Democratic challenger, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, have also been in the news recently after complaints were filed with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) over the content of an ad from a pro-jones Super PAC.
Highway 31, which has spent close to $2 million on the race, was recently criticized over some of the content in its advertisements, specifically for one attacking Moore with the sexual misconduct allegations against him.
The advertisement told Alabamians their votes in the Dec. 12 election would be “public record,” giving some the impression that whom they voted for would be released publicly.
After receiving complaints, Merrill’s office condemned the ad as misleading has characterized it as “voter intimidation.” He also clarified that, while Alabama does keep a record of which registered voters show up to the polls, no record is kept of who they voted or.
Outside the state, Alabama has become a focal point in a national discussion about sexual assault and misconduct that has recently impugned several members of Congress.
On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken (D, Minn.) resigned in the wake of multiple allegations against him, just days after U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D, Mich.) announced he would step down over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Across the aisle, it was recently discovered U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R, Texas) used $84,000 of taxpayer money to quell a sexual harassment lawsuit, though he has given no indication of resigning.
Rep. Trent Franks (R, Arizona) announced his resignation Friday after colleagues learned he had asked two female employees to bear his children as surrogates in the past.
In his departing remarks to the Senate this week, Franken referenced the allegations against Moore but also the numerous allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Trump:
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”