Former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore filed a complaint on Monday claiming he was the target of a political conspiracy ahead of the Alabama special election in December.
Moore, a former judge, lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election to fill a Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes ― or 1.5 percentage points.
Controversy swirled around Moore in the final months of the campaign as several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, including allegations that he pursued and harassed teenage girls when he was in his 30s and sexually assaulted one. Moore has denied the allegations.
In his complaint, filed in civil court in Etowah County, Alabama, Moore claims that his accusers shared a “common design” and planned their allegations to undermine his campaign. The complaint names four of Moore’s accusers ― Leigh Corfman, Debbie Wesson Gibson, Beverly Young Nelson and Tina Johnson ― as well as Richard Hagedorn, a reported friend of Corfman’s.
In a statement released on a campaign Facebook page, Moore’s attorney, Melissa Isaak, said the allegations against Moore “arose from a political conspiracy to destroy his personal reputation and defeat him in the special Senate election for United States Senate.”
Moore “has filed this action not only to hold accountable those who are guilty of slanderous and libelous conduct, but also to restore his good name, character, and reputation with the people of Alabama,” Isaak said.
Monday’s complaint claims the women’s allegations arose “coincidentally” roughly a month before the election and that Moore faced “no hint of scandal” in his years in public office prior to that.
Moore was twice elected chief justice of Alabama and twice removed from court for violations. In 2003, a judicial ethics panel removed Moore from office for failing to comply with an order to take a Ten Commandments monument out of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery. He was re-elected, but was removed from the court again in September 2016 for defying federal orders on same-sex marriage. The former judge has said he believes “homosexual conduct should be illegal.”
Corfman filed a lawsuit against Moore in January, saying he made defamatory remarks against her after she alleged that he touched her sexually in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32. Moore, in turn, sued Corfman for defamation in April.
Monday’s suit accuses the defendants on seven counts, including civil conspiracy, and seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.
Neil Roman, an attorney for Corfman, said in a statement to the Alabama Media Group that Moore’s latest claims “have no more merit than those he has made before.”
Read a copy of the complaint below:
This story has been updated with more information about the complaint and a statement from Neil Roman.