Kayla Moore, the wife of Roy Moore, the embattled Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in Alabama, is a mother, foundation head and former beauty queen who has been one of her husband’s most defiant supporters as he’s hit with a series of sexual misconduct allegations involving teenage girls.
The Moores have four children together, sons Caleb, Micah and Ory, and daughter, Heather. Kayla, born Kayla Kisor, is the President of the Foundation for Moral Law, which her husband founded in 2002. The couple has been married since 1985. Through her position with the foundation, Kayla Moore has long been somewhat vocal in public affairs, but, when it comes to the accusations against Roy Moore, she’s taking more of a front-and-center role in his defense. (You can read about Doug Jones’ wife, Louise Jones, here.)
Alabamans headed to the polls on December 12, and Moore and his wife rode to the polls on horses. You can read live election results and updates here. Moore ended up losing the race by a 1.5% margin, although he refused to concede and raised the prospect of a recount (which is automatically triggered in Alabama when the margin is 0.5% or less.)
Moore’s wife joined a group of women in defense of Roy Moore on the State Capitol steps in Alabama on November 17, where she insisted her husband will not quit the race, which is being held to replace Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate (Doug Jones is the Democrat). “He will not step down. He will not stop fighting for the people of Alabama,” she said, adding: “Most of the negative has been from out of state . . . The people of Alabama know what is going on here.” Kayla has also strongly defended her husband on social media, and she called him a Christian and loving husband and grandfather.
The 70-year-old Moore was the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 2013 to 2017 and is famous for ordering probate judges to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriages nationally. In 2002 and 2003, he fought to keep a Ten Commandments monument at the Alabama Supreme Court building during his first tenure as Chief Justice. He was eventually removed from office in November 2003. The foundation his wife runs has taken controversial stands on President Obama and gay issues.
Since he was first removed, Moore has run for various political offices. He ran a failed 2006 campaign for Alabama governor, but he defeated Luther Strange in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The latest accusations involve a 1979 encounter he allegedly had with then-14-year-old Leigh Corfman. He is accused of initiating sexual conduct with Corfman. At the time, Roy Moore was a single prosecutor in his 30s. Three other underage women have also accused Moore of making overtures toward them, according to the Washington Post. That’s only the start of the accusations, which Moore has denied.
Here’s what you need to know about Moore’s wife Kayla:
1. Kayla Moore Is a Former Miss Alabama Finalist Who Once Endorsed Ted Cruz for President & She’s Used Facebook to Defend Her Husband
Kayla Moore has a background in marketing and beauty pageants. Kayla’s Facebook page says she is Owner/ President at KDM Marketing, studied at The University of Alabama, studied at Jacksonville State University, went to Southside High School, and lives in Gallant, Alabama. Her bio says that “in addition to her strong legal and political background, Kayla has previously been named Miss Alabama US Teen 2nd Runner up. She was also a finalist for Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama World.” (Kayla Moore attended high school with one of Moore’s accusers, Beverly Young Nelson.)
Roy Moore is not Kayla’s first husband. According to CNN, “Kayla Moore was divorced with a child when she married Roy Moore.” However, AL.com reported that, when Kayla met Roy Moore, she had a 1-year-old daughter and “had just separated from her husband, Chuck Heald, who died in 2002.”
The Moores are very vocal about their religion. Roy Moore and his wife Kayla “are members of First Baptist Church in Gallant, Alabama,” his state bio reads. According to AL.com, “We consider ourselves Southern Baptist,” Kayla has said. The newspaper said the Moores “also sometimes attend City Church in Rainbow City, where their children and grandchildren are members.”
The large age gap between Moore and his accusers has some wondering about the age of Moore’s wife. The age difference between Roy and Kayla Moore stands at 14 years; Roy Moore is 70, and Kayla Moore is 56. Kayla Kisor was 24 years old and a legal adult when she married the then-38-year-old Roy Moore in 1985.
According to Newsweek, Kayla has called the accusations against her husband a witch hunt. “Kayla Moore, the president of the Foundation for Moral Law, has been fiercely fending off critics of her husband ever since several women came forward to accuse him of attempting to have sex with them as teenagers,” the news magazine reported. Also causing controversy, according to Newsweek: “Roy Moore has said his now-wife first caught his eye while she was at a dance recital about eight years before the 1984 church event. If that timeline is right, it means he became enamored with her when he was about 29 and she was about 15—a minor, just like his alleged victims.”
Kayla Moore posted a letter on her page from several pastors in support of Moore. However, three pastors have asked their names be removed from the letter, which came out in August, before the allegations surfaced. Included in that group was George Grant, who said he was never asked to sign the original letter and doesn’t have a voice in the fight to begin with, as he is a pastor in neighboring Tennessee, not Alabama.
On her Facebook page, Kayla Moore has shared repeated stories in her husband’s defense since the accusations broke, originally in a story in The Washington Post. For example, she shared a local column headlined, “I Believe Judge Roy Moore,” and a Breitbart article that accuses one of the women’s mothers of contradicting her statement to the Post that she had a bedroom phone in 1979. Kayla Moore also shared a pro Roy Moore post by a woman who wrote, “State Rep. Ed Henry said he believes legal action should be considered against Moore’s accusers, finding their story unbelievable.”
It’s not her first foray into a public posture. However, one man who knows her told AL.com: “She rarely injects herself into the political fray.” Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, described Kayla by saying: “Her demeanor is more supportive than vocal.” That hasn’t always been the case, though. Kayla has long been a fixture at her husband’s side.
“For years, Moore has helped coordinate her husband’s political campaigns. In his race for the Senate this year, the two have traveled nearly everywhere together – with him often at the wheel as she navigates,” reported AL.com.
In February 2016, Kayla wrote an op-ed for AL.com, in which she endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the presidency. She wrote that she could “trust” him to pick conservative Supreme Court justices. In the op-ed, she called recent decisions by the Supreme Court – from allowing Obamacare to continue to allowing same-sex marriage – “lawless.”
She accused previous Republican presidents of being responsible for decisions like these. “At best, more than half of Republican nominees over the past 30 years have failed to defend the Constitution. At worst, they have been tragic contributors to lawlessness and the erosion of democracy, family values, and our constitutional heritage,” Kayla wrote.
However, she thought Cruz was the “one candidate in the GOP race who we can trust to break this miserable track record,” adding that, “Cruz knows our Constitution, our legal system, and the Supreme Court better than any conservative who has run for president.”
2. Kayla Moore Is a Grandmother & Mother Whose Son, Caleb, Has Been Arrested Multiple Times
Moore and his wife have four children and five grandchildren together. Their son Ory has served in the Army, according to his mother’s Facebook page. Ory says on Facebook that he studied electrical engineering at Gadsden State College, went to Coosa Christian High School, went to Edgewood High School, is married, and lives in Gadsen, Alabama.
Micah Moore played football for Troy University. The bio reads, “Earned all-county honors his junior and senior seasons at West End High School … Earned three player of the week awards over his final two seasons … Recorded 16 sacks as a junior and 18 as a senior … Against Faulkville his senior year, tallied six sacks, a safety, a rushing touchdown and returned an interception for a touchdown … Helped lead the Patriots to a pair of playoff appearances.”
According to AL.com, Heather Moore Mayo “is the head of Cornerstone Speakers Agency, LLC – an Oneonta-based company that schedules bookings for speakers and musicians, makes travel and hotel arrangements for its clients and handles their publicity.”
One of the children of Roy and Kayla Moore, Caleb Moore, has been arrested multiple times. In October 2017, The New York Daily News reported that Caleb Moore “has been arrested in Alabama on a misdemeanor charge linked to allegations of illegal hunting.” Daily News added, “Caleb Moore was arrested on drug charges in 2015, but those were dropped after he entered a pre-trial diversion program.”
According to AL.com, “This is the ninth time Moore has been placed in jail. He was arrested for drug possession in Troy in 2015. Those charges were dropped last year after he agreed to enter a pre-trial diversion program with the Pike County District Attorney’s Office, court records show. He has also faced charges of driving under the influence in both Alabama and Florida, and three drug-related arrests in Baldwin, Pike and St. Clair counties in Alabama.”
3. Kayla Moore’s Foundation Once Shared a Video Calling Obama a Muslim & Opposed a Gay Cadet’s Nomination
In 2002, Roy Moore founded the Foundation for Moral Law. Today, Kayla is President of the group, which “fights to protect the Constitution and protect the heritage of our Country.” Moore is now president emeritus.
In March, Air Force Col. Kristin Goodwin was nominated to be in the Air Force Academy’s Commandant for cadets. Kayla and the Foundation for Moral Law – which Kayla Moore runs – opposed the nomination because Goodwin is gay.
“I oppose this nomination because Col. Goodwin does not set a proper moral example for youth,” Kayla wrote in a letter to the Department of Defense. “The person responsible for the education of cadets at the academy is a role model and an exemplar of proper deportment and conduct.”
She continued, “By nominating an open lesbian who proclaims that she is married to another woman, the Department of Defense states its disregard for the fundamental moral order established by God, thus breaking trust with the millions of Christians who voted for the new president in hope that the ungodly policies of the previous administration would be repudiated.”
Despite that letter, Goodwin was named commandant and was promoted to brigadier general in May.
Earlier this month, CNN reported that the group and Kayla both shared a video called “OBAMA THE MUSLIM, HIS OWN WORDS” on November 18, 2015. It was posted on the foundation’s Facebook page, as well as Kayla’s own page. The video was created by the far-right British group Britain First.
Moore later told CNN that the video didn’t reflect his personal views. When asked if Kayla thought that way, he told CNN, “Sir, I can’t speak for other people. My campaign has nothing to do with Obama. He’s not President. This is kind of ridiculous.” Representatives for the foundation did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Roy Moore also played a role in keeping the “birther” conspiracy alive. “My personal belief is that he wasn’t, but that’s probably over and done in a few days, unless we get something else to come along,” Moore said in a December 2016 video obtained by CNN in August.
Kayla Moore has generated more headlines on her own, causing controversy when she defended her husband by saying, “I just want to set the record straight while they’re here. One of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends that are Jewish, and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them.”
4. The Moore Family’s Foundation Hasn’t Filed Tax Returns Since 2014 & Documents Show Kayla Wasn’t Earning Compensation
In August, a group called the Senate Leadership Fund released a TV spot claiming that Moore and Kayla pocketed $1 million in salary from 2005 to 2013 from the foundation. The Foundation denied the claims, calling it a “massive distortion of the truth.”
AL.com noted that the data doesn’t include the foundation’s 2015 and 2016 990s because their tax returns weren’t filed. “The accountant that normally does our tax returns has been sick and almost died,” Jessica Deem, Kayla’s executive assistant, told AL.com. “He has since spoken with the IRS and the missing 2015 return will be filed in the next few days. And we have an extension on the 2016 return.”
However, the filing for 2014 shows that Kayla didn’t receive any compensation from the foundation. Since 2007, the foundation’s revenue has been $5.12 million, while expenditures total $6 million.
According to Politifact, “From 2005 through 2013, the Moore family drew $1,030,875 from The Foundation for Moral Law.” The site noted, “Moore served as either chairman or president from 2005 through 2012, and his wife Kayla Moore took over as president in 2013.” A Senate Leadership Fund attack ad said, “Roy Moore and his wife (paid themselves) over $1 million from a charity they ran.”
The Foundation of Moral Law’s mission statement says it “exists to restore the knowledge of God in law and government and to acknowledge and defend the truth that man is endowed with rights, not by our fellow man, but by God! Please partner with us to achieve this important mission.” Its website also noted, “In January 2013, due to Judge Moore taking office as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, it was announced that his wife, Kayla Moore, was named President of the Foundation . It was announced that Judge Moore would take the title of President Emeritus of the Foundation for Moral Law.”
5. Kayla, Who First Met Roy Moore at a Dance Recital, Called Her Husband ‘Gentle’ & ‘Godly’ After the Accusations Broke
Kayla has spoken in glowing terms about her husband since the accusations hit the news. “I have been married to this man for 32 years. We’ve been together for 33 altogether,” she said. “He just has never, one time lifted a finger to me. He is the most gentle, most kind man that I have ever known in my life. He’s godly.”
According to CNN, Moore spoke about the first time he met his wife in his 2009 memoir, which is called “So Help Me God: The Ten Commandments, Judicial Tyranny, and the Battle for Religious Freedom.” Moore wrote: “I knew Kayla was going to a special person in my life,” and recalled that he first saw her “at a dance recital at a nearby college in Alabama. He wrote he never forgot her, even when he saw her again years later,” CNN reported (the network noted that Kayla Moore has said she met her husband at Bible study.)
“It’s unclear what age Kayla Moore was when he first saw her at the dance recital, but they began dating when she was 23, a year before they married, according to the memoir,” reported CNN, which further quoted Roy Moore as writing of Kayla, “Anxious to meet her, I began with the line, ‘Haven’t we met somewhere before?’ ‘I don’t think so,’ she replied,” he said, recalling the moment they met at a church Christmas party.”
The former Kayla Kisor has been married to Roy Moore since 1985. According to WFSA, Kayla Moore once filed an auto accident suit. She “was awarded more than $270,000 in damages following a jury trial in September. She was injured when she was hit by a car in 1999 while walking to her car in the Colonial Mall-Gadsden parking lot.”