A Roy Moore Accuser Said She Made "Notes" To The Yearbook Message He Wrote
Beverly Young Nelson said she "made some notes underneath" the yearbook inscription that she has attributed to the Alabama senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct. The pro-Trump media seized on the admission, twisting it to discredit her whole story.
Beverly Young Nelson, who has accused Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore of assaulting her when she was 16, said in an interview Friday she wrote some notes underneath the high school yearbook inscription that Moore signed in 1977.
In a press conference last month, Nelson, accompanied by her attorney Gloria Allred, alleged that Moore had groped her, choked her, and forced her head near his crotch while they sat in his car behind the restaurant she waitressed at when she was 16.
Nelson said that a week before the alleged assault, Moore wrote in her yearbook: "To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say 'Merry Christmas.' Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A." Underneath the signature is the date, "12-22-77" and "Olde Hickory House" — which was where Nelson worked at the time.
Moore's campaign and his supporters, including his wife, Kayla Moore, have previously accused Nelson of forging his signature in her yearbook.
After Nelson went public with her story, Moore accused her of "tampering" with the "supposed yearbook inscription."
In a letter to Fox News' Sean Hannity, Moore wrote that the signature in the yearbook was followed by the initials "D.A." even though he was a deputy district attorney, and not a district attorney, at the time
"Those initials as well as the date under the signature block and the printed name of the restaurant are written in a style inconsistent with the rest of the yearbook inscription," Moore wrote in the letter. "The '7’s' in 'Christmas 1977' are in a noticeably different script than the '7’s' in the date '12-22-77.' I believe tampering has occurred."
In an interview with Good Morning America on Friday, and later in a press conference, Nelson insisted that while Moore himself wrote the inscription and signed her yearbook, she added some notes under the message to "remind herself who Roy Moore was."
ABC News reporter Tom Llamas reported that while Nelson said she did make notes to the inscription, "the message was all Roy Moore."
During the interview, Llamas asked Nelson, "Beverly, he signed your yearbook?" to which she replied, "He did sign it."
Llmas then asked, "And you made some notes underneath?" to which Nelson said, "Yes."
While the report did not clarify what the notes were, Nelson appeared to be alluding to the date and "Olde Hickory House," which were written below the signature.
BuzzFeed News has also requested full video and transcript of that portion of the interview from Good Morning America.
Later, at a press conference, Allred presented a report she said was conducted by a forensic handwriting expert which said the yearbook inscription and the signature "were prepared by Roy Moore."
Allred said that the expert did not analyze the notes written below the signature as Nelson said that she wrote them herself "to remind herself who Roy Moore was" and "where and when he signed her yearbook."
Nelson said that it was "important for Alabama voters to consider" the expert's report concluding that Moore signed her yearbook.
Moore has denied all the allegations against him and said that he does not know any of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.
Responding to questions about why Allred and Nelson did not previously disclose the fact that Nelson had written the notes below Moore's signature, Allred said, "There's a lot of things we have not disclosed that support Beverly, which we will disclose when there's a [Senate] hearing."
Allred said the "key" was that the signature was Moore's and that despite Moore claiming he did not know Nelson, the expert determined that he wrote in her yearbook.
Nelson, who is a Republican, also expressed regret for voting for President Trump, saying, "I did so because I thought he cared about people like me. I am very disappointed. I was wrong. He has chosen to support a powerful politician like Roy Moore instead of women like me."
(Watch the full news conference here.)
Pro-Trump media websites and personalities seized on Friday's admission. Some, without evidence, said Nelson was admitting to forgery.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a Gateway Pundit story with the misleading headline, "WE CALLED IT! Gloria Allred Accuser **ADMITS** She Tampered With Roy Moore's 'Signature.'"
In the ABC interview, Nelson did not admit to "tampering" with Moore's signature, but said that she "made notes" underneath it.
Fox News was forced to delete two of its tweets which wrongly claimed that Nelson had admitted to "forging" part of the yearbook inscription.
Moore himself even shared one of the Fox tweets that was later deleted.
The network also sent out the misleading statement in a push alert, saying, "Roy Moore accuser admits she forged part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama senate candidate."
Contacted by BuzzFeed News about why the tweets were deleted and their use of the word "forgery," a Fox News spokesperson said their story had been significantly updated, with the word "forgery" removed and a "clarification" added to the bottom of the story, which reads:
An update to this story reflects that Beverly Young Nelson admits writing what ABC News characterized as “notes” beneath what she says is Roy Moore’s signature, and that the only notes below the signature are the date and location. Furthermore, the headline on story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it.
At a Friday afternoon news conference, Moore's lawyer Phillip Jauregui said that Nelson and Allred should release the yearbook "so that an independent expert can take it."
"Gloria Allred, release the year book," Jauregui demanded. "It’s been 23 days. Release the yearbook."
Moore has previously said that he wants an independent analysis of the yearbook, but according to AL.com Allred has countered that such a review should be part of a judicial or ethics hearing in the Senate.