Leigh Corfman, now 53, says virulently homophobic and transphobic Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued her and engaged in a romantic relationship with her when she was 14 and he was 32, The Washington Post reports. At least three other women have come forward about consensual relationships they had when Moore was in his 30s and they were teenagers -- some 18 and older, some not.
The bombshell allegations threaten Moore's candidacy for the Senate, where he's running to fill the spot vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The election will be held December 12, with Moore running against Democratic civil rights lawyer Doug Jones. If Jones wins, the Republicans will only control the Senate by one vote.
Corfman says Moore met her while she was sitting outside a courtroom in 1979; Moore was a district attorney at the time. After Corfman's mother went inside the courtroom, Moore stayed with Corfman and asked for her phone number, which she gave him. Later they would go on dates to Moore's home where he allegedly groped the girl and attempted to have her fondle him. Corfman had made clear to Moore she was 14; the age of consent at the time in Alabama was 16.
"I wanted it over with -- I wanted out," Corfman now tells the Post. "Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over."
Corfman says she initially got away from the inappropriate relationship, but that it drove her to drink, use drugs, and even attempt suicide. The alleged encounters have continued to affect Corfman.
"I felt responsible," she says. "I felt like I had done something bad. And it kind of set the course for me doing other things that were bad."
Three other women -- Gloria Thacker Deason, Wendy Miller, and Debbie Wesson Gibson -- all went on record saying Moore picked them up as teenagers and they dated for a short time. Deason was 18, Miller was 16, and Gibson was 17, according to the Post. Some of the women said Moore gave them alcohol, at a time when the legal drinking age was 19. All the women say they were initially flattered by a successful older man finding them attractive, but now see his actions as wholly inappropriate.
Moore vehemently denied the allegations by the women, none of whom are associated with Jones.
"These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the national Democrat Party and TheWashington Post on this campaign," 70-year-old Moore told the Post.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reacted quickly to the report: "If these allegations are true, he must step aside."