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Roy Moore’s wife says accusations have upended their life

By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Roy Moore’s wife wiped tears as she testified Friday about the aftermath of a sexual molestation allegation against her husband, saying they received threatening messages, graffiti outside their home and a loss of public support.

“Our whole lives have changed. It’s not the same,” Kayla Moore testified, Moore’s defense began presenting their evidence Friday in a trial dealing with dueling defamation claims. Leigh Corfman, a woman who says Moore sexually molested her in 1979 when she was 14, has sued Moore for statements he made when he denied the accusation during the 2017 U.S. Senate race. Moore has countersued, and the jury will decide both claims.

Kayla Moore testified about meeting her husband at a Bible study Christmas party in the 1980s and described him as a “perfect gentleman,” maintaining he is not the kind of person who would hurt a child.

She also described their lives after The Washington Post published Corfman’s account. She said they received threatening and disturbing messages, including “pedophile” written in orange spray paint near their home. She said they still remain unsure how they will be received when they go places.

During cross-examination by Corfman attorney Jeff Doss, Kayla Moore confirmed she didn’t know her husband in 1979 and didn’t know Corfman and other women who said Moore dated them, or asked them out as teenagers. Kayla Moore testified she had no personal knowledge of what happened in 1979 but said she believed her husband.

Moore’s defense also called his daughter and a friend to the witness stand to testify about his character.

Circuit Judge John Rochester on Friday rejected a request from Moore’s lawyers for a directed verdict in the case after Moore’s attorney, Julian McPhillips, argued Corfman’s attorneys had not proven their case and had not met the standard for proving defamation and that Moore was within his rights to deny an allegation he believes is false.

Doss, an attorney for Corfman, argued the question of truthfulness is one for the jury.

“Two things are clear. One: Ms. Corfman told the truth to The Washington Post. Two: When Mr. Moore responded as he did, it was defamatory,” Doss said.

Testimony in the trial that began Monday will resume after the weekend. Jurors are expected to get the case sometime next week. Corfman is not seeking any monetary damages in the case. Moore is asking for monetary damages.

Rochester on Friday also cautioned Moore’s attorneys to speak to him about an outburst in the courtroom and that he would face admonishment if it happened again.

Rochester’s warning came after there was a loud noise from the defense table, and Moore was seen getting up as lawyers discussed upcoming witnesses.

“I apologize sincerely,” Moore later told the judge as they spoke in front of the bench.

The allegations against Moore overshadowed the conservative Republican during the 2017 campaign as Moore ultimately fell in a stunning red state defeat to Doug Jones, the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in 25 years. Republican Tommy Tuberville defeated Jones in the next election.

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