Eight days after The Washington Post first published reports alleging Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued relationships with teenagers and sexually abused a 14-year-old and 16-year-old while he was in his 30s, a new accuser is coming forward.
“It was so uncomfortable,” Tina Johnson told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday, referring to Moore’s behavior during a meeting she and her mother had with him in 1991, when Johnson was 28.
The interaction occurred in Moore’s law office amid a custody feud between Johnson and her mother centering on the care of Johnson’s young son, who was born when she was a teenager, she said.
Johnson told CNN she had visited Moore’s law office in Gadsden, Alabama, with her mother after relenting to her mother’s wishes to take custody of the child. Her mother had hired Moore to draw up the paperwork, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
Johnson said Moore was being very flirtatious, and her discomfort with the situation heightened as the meeting closed, after her mother had already left the room.
“He just grabbed me from behind, on my buttocks,” Johnson shared on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
While many have minimized the experience, suggesting Moore’s alleged actions were harmless and playful, Johnson said the incident and those alleged by other women in Alabama represent something larger.
“It’s not just a squeeze,” she said. “You take every ounce of decency from us.”
Moore has not responded to repeated requests for comment on Johnson’s allegations, Burnett noted. He has vehemently denied the other women’s allegations against him.
Johnson told Burnett that as a young mother at the time, she felt vulnerable simply being in that position, facing her own mother in a custody battle. In fact, Johnson’s mom only made matters worse, she said, viewing Moore’s advances as a twisted badge of honor.
“My mother was flattered that he was flirting with me,” she said, recalling that her mom had mentioned something about Moore “fishing for a wife.”
However, what neither Johnson nor her mother realized at the time was that Moore was already married, having wed his wife, Kayla, six years prior. Johnson’s account, which was first reported on AL.com, is the first accusation against Moore that’s alleged to have occurred while he was married.
Johnson maintains that she “had no interest in Roy Moore,” adding, “I remember thinking, can we just get out of there?”
She said she remembers the situation in vivid detail, right down to her wardrobe.
“I can remember the dress. It was black and white,” Johnson told Burnett, adding, “I never wore it again.”
A group of Alabama Republican women led by Kayla Moore defended the Senate candidate Friday against the allegations from his accusers.
Seven women besides Kayla Moore accused the media and the Republican establishment of spreading lies about him.
“We’re in a battle,” Kayla Moore said, addressing members of the media from the steps of a courthouse. “Who knew?”
She blamed the Washington establishment for attacking her husband and called him “an officer and a gentleman.”
The Alabama Republican Party reiterated its support for Moore on Thursday night, releasing a statement saying that the Republican nominee “deserves to be presumed innocent.”
“Judge Moore has vehemently denied the allegations made against him,” the statement read. “He deserves to be presumed innocent of the accusations unless proven otherwise. He will continue to take his case straight to the people of Alabama.”
Moore campaign Chairman Bill Armistead on Thursday touted the Alabama GOP’s support, and accused politicians and the media of targeting Moore.
“The political establishment and the national media have put a bull’s-eye on Judge Moore because he’s a conservative outsider who will go to Washington to fight for our values, but the voters of Alabama — the people who know him best — aren’t fooled by these tricks and lies,” Armistead said.