MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A defamation lawsuit against failed Senate candidate Roy Moore, filed by one of the women who had accused Moore of sexual misconduct, is moving forward.
Montgomery Circuit Judge Ronan Shaul last week denied Moore’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Leigh Corfman. Shaul also recently denied a request by Moore to move the lawsuit from Montgomery to Etowah County, Moore’s home county. Etowah is also the county where the misconduct accusations raised by Corfman were said to have occurred in 1979.
Corfman is among several women who said Moore sexually pursued them decades ago when they were teens and he was a prosecutor in his 30s. The claims became a central issue in a special U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Moore, a Republican, denied the accusations of sexual misconduct during last year’s campaign, losing the race to Democrat Doug Joes.
Corfman’s lawsuit contends that Moore and his campaign defamed her and made false statements, calling her a liar and immoral, as they denied the claims in the midst of the election.
“Mr. Moore impugned Ms. Corfman’s veracity, motivations, and character on nationally syndicated radio, in broadcast campaign speeches, in online news sources, on television, and at campaign rallies,” lawyers for Corfman wrote.
Corfman’s attorneys wrote that Moore knew the statements against Corfman were false because “he was the perpetrator in the events she described.”
Moore’s attorneys had argued that there was no defamation and that Moore had a First Amendment right to defend himself.
“He has merely denied … her accusations and sought to defend his reputation against her attacks on his character,” attorneys for Moore wrote.