Beverly Young Nelson, one of the women to have levied sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore, said she added the date and location below a now-infamous yearbook inscription she has attributed to the Alabama Senate candidate.
Nelson and her attorney, Gloria Allred, have offered the yearbook note as proof Moore sought an inappropriate relationship with her when Nelson was 16 and Moore was in his mid-30s.
Allred retained Georgia-based handwriting expert Arthur Anthony to assess the yearbook signature and cross-examine it with copies and originals of Moore’s signature on other documents. Anthony concluded that the signature is indeed Moore’s, Allred said at a news conference Friday afternoon in Atlanta, where she handed out Anthony’s report.
Nelson told ABC News on Friday that she later added the date (“12-22-77”) and location (“Olde Hickory House”) beneath Moore’s message and signature. But she insisted that Moore, who later became the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, penned the note and his name.
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The note and Moore’s name are written in a slanted cursive. The date and location are not.
“Beverly, he did sign your yearbook?” ABC’s Tom Llamas asked during the interview aired Friday.
“He did sign it,” she replied.
“And you made some notes underneath?” Llamas asked.
“Yes,” she answered.
Nelson did not indicate when she annotated the yearbook inscription.
At the Nov. 13 news conference in New York where she initially aired her allegations, Nelson did not mention that she added anything to the note she said was Moore’s.
The Moore campaign appeared to feel vindicated by the development, addressing the media in Montgomery late Friday afternoon. Campaign officials did not take any questions from reporters.
Jauregui repeated his call for Allred to release the yearbook so it could be examined by an independent analsyst.
“The truth is out there and until she releases the yearbook all we know is they’re not telling the truth and they’ve lied,” Jauregui said.
Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead also addressed reporters gathered at a hotel conference room in the state capital.
“We’ve endured a lot of harassment throughout this campaign,” Armistead said. “We’ve always said in the end truth will be known.”
Moore’s campaign did not address the other allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate advances Friday. Moore has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Defenders of Moore have long questioned the authenticity of the note, and Nelson’s statements Friday appear to have given them ammunition.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, rejoiced on Twitter as news of Nelson’s comments broke, linking to an article from the right-wing conspiracy website Gateway Pundit.
I wonder if Allred told her to do that? WE CALLED IT! Gloria Allred Accuser **ADMITS** She Tampered With Roy Moore’s Yearbook ‘Signature’ (VIDEO) https://t.co/pxNhPT90zN
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 8, 2017
Moore pounced on the comments to discredit Nelson’s accusations against him, retweeting a Fox News headline saying Nelson “admits she forged” part of the yearbook note.
“Let’s count how many national outlets will ignore the fact that she admits to lying,” Moore wrote above the tweet.
Boyfriend at the time says she lied.
Employees of the restaurant say she lied.
Customers of the restaurant say she lied.
Her step son says she lied.
Now she herself admits to lying.
Let’s count how many national outlets will ignore the fact that she admits to lying. https://t.co/9D5OYCVORx
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) December 8, 2017
Fox later changed the headline on its website to “Roy Moore accuser admits she wrote part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama Senate candidate” and deleted the tweet.
The outlet later added an update at the bottom of its story saying clarifying that Nelson added notes under the inscription and the she wrote the notes instead of “forging” it, as it had earlier characterized it.
The newest wrinkle in Nelson’s account came four days before Moore squares off against Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat, which is currently filled by appointed Sen. Luther Strange.