Leigh Corfman says that in 1979, when she was 14 years old, she was sitting in the courthouse with her mother when Roy Moore, then 32 years old, walked up and introduced himself. Moore, a Republican who is now running for the open Senate seat from Alabama, later called Corfman to ask her out on a date. During their second date, Corfman said Monday, Moore tried to “seduce” her.
“I met him around the corner from my house, my mother did not know,” Corfman told NBC’s “Today.” She said she went to Moore’s home during their second meeting, at which point “he basically laid out some blankets on the floor of his living room and proceeded to seduce me.”
“During the course of that he removed my clothing, he came back in wearing his white underwear, he touched me under my clothing and he tried to get me to touch him as well,” she said. “And at that point I pulled back and I said that I was not comfortable, and I got dressed and he took me home.”
Corfman said she told two close friends about the incident, and that they advised her not to see him again. She said she ignored Moore’s further calls.
Corfman first told The Washington Post about the incident with Moore, and her account was detailed in an article published earlier this month. She said Monday that the Post sought her out, and that she decided she would tell the news outlet her story if it was able to find other women who were also willing to go on the record with allegations against Moore. Four women in the piece accuse Moore of sexual misconduct; another woman came forward days later.
Corfman said she had wrestled with the idea of coming forward with her story several times, but previously had decided not to say anything publicly because she was a single mother.
“When you’re in that situation, you do everything you can to protect your own,” she said. “My family knew, family friends knew, my friends knew, I spent a lot of time every time he came up railing against him and what he had done to me.”
It took years for me to regain a sense of confidence in myself, and I felt guilty. Leigh Corfman
When her children were in junior high school, she added, she sat them down and told them her story about Moore. She also told them they could decide whether she would speak up publicly.
Ultimately, she said, they asked her not to say anything because “they were afraid that they would be castigated in their [friend] groups.”
Corfman said she feels like “a weight’s been lifted” since coming forward, but that the incident has stuck with her for decades.
“It took away a lot of the specialness of interactions with men, it took some trust away,” she said. “It took years for me to regain a sense of confidence in myself, and I felt guilty, I felt like I was the one to blame, and it was decades before I was able to let that go.”
Moore had denied the allegations, saying he doesn’t even know who Corfman is.
“I wonder how many mes he doesn’t know,” she said in response.
Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, accused the women who spoke out of receiving payments for their stories.
Corfman denied this. “If anything, this has cost me,” she said. “I’ve had to take leave from my job.”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.