Leigh Corfman, the first woman who accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of making sexual advances toward her when she was a teenager, appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show on Monday morning. It was her first televised interview since she made the accusations earlier this month.
Since The Washington Post broke its story about Corfman’s allegations, eight other women have come forward with similar complaints. The most serious of which alleges that Moore attempted to force a 16-year-old Beverly Young Nelson to perform oral sex on him in his car after Moore offered to give her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked.
“Mr. Moore began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts. I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head into his crotch. I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face,” said Nelson in a statement.
Corfman told The Washington Post that Moore initially approached her outside of a courtroom in Etowah County, Alabama when she was 14 years old, then asked for her phone number. Moore, then a 32-year-old prosecutor, picked Corfman up from her home a few days later for a date. On their second date, Corfman says that Moore took her hand and placed it on his genitals over his pants.
“I wasn’t ready for that – I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one. … I wanted it over with – I wanted out. Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over,” she told the Post, adding that Moore took her home after she told him she was uncomfortable.
Corfman gave additional details about her encounters with Moore in her TODAY Show interview. “I wouldn’t exactly call it a date. I would say it was a meet. At 14 I was not dating. At 14, I was not able to make those kind of choices,” she said.
She elaborated that, on their second outing, Moore brought her back to his house, where he laid blankets down on the living room floor and removed most of her clothing. Corfman then said he left the room and returned wearing only a pair of underwear, and “proceeded to, um, seduce me, I guess you would say.”
“He touched me over my clothing, what was left of it, and he tried to get me to touch him as well,” Corfman said while describing the encounter to TODAY Show hosts. “I had been reading Harlequin romances for years. I was expecting candlelight and roses, what I got was very different.”
She further stated that she declined to go on a third outing with Moore after she told her friends of the encounter and they dissuaded her from seeing him again. “When he called again, I didn’t go. I made an excuse and I didn’t go.”
Corfman also told the TODAY Show that she had told The Washington Post that she would only go public if they could find others that had similar experiences with Moore. “I didn’t go looking for this, this fell in my lap. It literally fell in my life, and I had to make a decision,” she said, adding that she has not received any compensation of any kind for telling her story.
“It took away a lot of the specialness out of interactions with men. it took some trust away,” Corfman said when speaking of the impact the incident has had on her over the years. “It took years for me to regain a sense of confidence in myself, and I felt guilty. I felt like I was the one that was to blame. It was decades before I was able to let that go.”