Over the last several weeks, accusations of sexual improprieties by Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore have led to calls for the judge to exit the race to fill the vacant seat left by Attorney Jeff Sessions. Others, meanwhile, have rushed to Moore’s defense – calling into question everything from the original Washington Post article, to accuser Beverly Young Nelson’s claim that Moore showered her in unwanted attention when she was 15, and sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
A now infamous yearbook entry, from December 1977, which Nelson claims is Moore’s has also come under scrutiny, with many pointing out that Moore’s last name, title, date, and location appear to have been added later – constituting a forgery if true.
Nelson’s attorney Gloria Allred refused to confirm the authenticity of the yearbook, and she won’t hand it over to handwriting experts unless a US Senate Committee agrees to conduct a hearing first. Considering that the Alabama special election is just over three weeks away.
Meanwhile Nelson’s stepson, Darrel Nelson, claims that his stepmother’s accusations are “one hundred percent a lie,” stating “I know for a fact that there is a lot that that woman does not tell the truth on,” Nelson claimed in an in-person interview with Breitbart News. “Do I think that Beverly is trustworthy? No, I really don’t. Could I see her making it up? …The odds are in that favor.”
And now the latest – the Moore campaign has released a lengthy statement poking holes in Nelson’s claims
Everything from Nelson’s age when she began working at the Olde Hickory House, to the restaurant’s hours, to the physical layout of the location Nelson says Moore assaulted her have been called into question – aided by the testimony of former Old Hickory House employee Rhonda Ledbetter, a waitress at Olde Hickory House for almost three years from 1977-1979, along with another former employee.
In addition, two former waitresses and two former customers say they never say Moore come into the restaurant, despite Nelson’s claim that he was there “almost every night.”
Read the full statement below:
GADSDEN, Ala. – On Monday evening, the Moore Campaign unveiled statements from key witnesses that completely bust the story of Beverly Nelson and Gloria Allred and further reveal an unconscionable bias on the part of state and national press to hide the truth from Alabama voters who will undoubtedly see through the “fake news” and elect Judge Moore for the man that they have always known him to be.
Rhonda Ledbetter, a retired public school teacher who is currently the senior choir director at a Baptist church and teaches children at a local, church-sponsored day care center, was a waitress at Olde Hickory House for almost three years from 1977-1979. She was a college student at Jacksonville State University at the time and worked varying shifts at different times of day, multiple days a week during the time of her employment. She said in a statement: “When I heard Beverly Nelson’s story, there were several details that were different from what I remember. I was nervous at coming forward because of all the attention this story has gotten, but as a moral and ethical person I had to speak up about what I know to be true. I was a waitress at Olde Hickory for almost three years from 1977-1979, and I never saw Roy Moore come in to the restaurant. Not one time. And I would have noticed because most of our customers weren’t wearing suits, especially not at night. Many customers worked at Goodyear next door and would stop in on their way to and from work, and I don’t remember anyone from the courthouse coming in at all. That just wasn’t our crowd.
“A few things stuck out to me. First, Nelson said she was 15 years old when she started working there but you had to be 16. I don’t remember her from my time there, and I don’t remember any 15 year olds working there at all.
“Second, Nelson said the restaurant closed at 10 p.m. but I know the earliest it closed was 11, though I believe it was midnight. I’m certain of that because Goodyear employees came in to eat after their shift ended at 10:00 p.m., so there’s no way we would have closed at that time.
“Third, the area wasn’t dark and isolated as she described. Rather, the building was right off the busy four-lane highway and people and cars were always around. The restaurant had a wrap-around porch, like the ones at Cracker Barrel restaurants, and there were lights all around the sides of the building. So it wasn’t dark and anyone in the parking lot was visible from the road.
“Fourth, the dumpsters were to the side of the building, not around back and there sure wasn’t room to park in between the building and the dumpsters. People from the kitchen would take trash out of the side door and throw it right into the dumpsters. We were always told to park on the side of the building, because there just wasn’t much room behind it. I don’t remember there being an exit from the back of the parking lot, there would barely have been enough room to turn a car around.
“I came forward because from what I’ve seen, the media is only interested in reporting one side of this story. In fact, Dixon Hayes from WRBC in Birmingham asked for former employees to contact him but never responded when I told him I never saw Roy Moore come into Olde Hickory House during the three years I worked for. Two other news outlets in the state asked to interview me and I agreed, but neither one has aired my interview and I have to wonder why they don’t think the people of Alabama deserve to hear anything that counteracts the accusations against Judge Moore. It’s not for me to say whether or not something happened, I can only tell the truth about factual details that I know for sure. I think all Alabamians deserve to have all of the facts so they can decide for themselves what the truth is. Despite what the national media and people in DC might say, Alabama voters are intelligent and have common sense. We don’t need anyone to tell us how to vote or to explain to us what really happened. We will make that decision and I just wanted to do my part in sharing the truth on some of these important facts. I, like all Alabama voters, want any and all information that can shed light on the truth.”
Johnny Belyeu, Sr. is a former police officer with over two decades of experience with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department and the Gadsden Police Department. He said in a statement, “I was an officer with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department in the 1970s which means I worked in the courthouse and knew who Roy Moore was since he was the Deputy District Attorney at the time. I was a regular customer at Olde Hickory House, and I never once saw Judge Moore come in there. If he had I would have immediately recognized him. I also never met Beverly Nelson during any of the many times I frequented the restaurant, and I can’t say that she even worked there.”
Renee Schivera of Huntsville, Alabama stated, “I was a waitress at the Olde Hickory House during the summer of 1977, before my senior year of high school. When I heard Beverly Nelson’s story the first thing that stuck out to me was that I don’t remember Roy Moore ever coming into the restaurant. I also don’t remember her working there. The other thing that struck me as odd is that from my best recollection, the dumpsters were to the side of the building. I just know they were visible from the road, and not back behind the building. But the main thing is that if someone came in almost every night we knew who there were, and I never saw Roy Moore there. As a Christian woman, I wouldn’t lie for anyone and I am only sharing what I know because it’s the truth.”
“The days of unbiased reporting are over,” Moore Campaign strategist, Brett Doster said. “The liberal media will dodge any source and refuse to air any interview that doesn’t square with their effort to land a liberal Democrat in the senate seat. The Moore Campaign is committed to presenting factual truth to the people of Alabama and looks forward to victory on December 12.”