After an appalling performance during the election that handed Roy Moore a desperately needed claim of misrepresentation by an alleged victim, attorney Gloria Allred appeared on CNN for a victory lap — an interview that only briefly touched on the debacle over her press conference with Beverly Young Nelson. Allred ignored the fact that Jones won despite her blundering during the campaign. Putting aside the obvious lack of responsibility, Allred did agree with Nelson that this is not over because there is still the matter of defamation to address on behalf of Nelson. That sounds like a threat of a Nelson defamation action, which is precisely what my column today is calling for. Let’s find out who is lying in Alabama. Both Moore and Nelson should stop threatening lawsuit and actually sue.
I have been critical of the representation afforded by Gloria Allred and her daughter Lisa Bloom in past cases, including the rapid calling of press conferences at the height of news cycles, including her handling of the Nelson allegations. Allred’s defense of her client on the charge has been so anemic and uncertain that many have taken it as a concession. Allred’s eagerness to hold press conferences gave Moore exactly what he hoped to find: a basis for challenging the veracity of his accusers. After numerous evasive interviews that played into Moore’s hand, Allred called another press event and admitted that Nelson did indeed write some of the words attributed to Moore in the yearbook. Now Moore can go into the final stretch of the election claiming that the victim’s evidence was not what she had claimed. It would have been better to have admitted this weeks ago, but Allred waited for the Friday before the election to bury her own gross negligence in the news cycle. This does not alter my view that the allegations against Moore are credible and disqualifying (including another witness who came forward this week), but rather than the blunder played into the hands of those who are struggling to ignore the moral hazard that is Roy Moore.
Beverly Young Nelson admitted that she added “notes” beneath Roy Moore’s signature in her high school yearbook. She says that she wrote “12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.” However, in the press conference with Allred in November, she knowingly misrepresented the facts about Moore writing all of these words. She stated: “He wrote in my yearbook as follows: ‘To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas, Christmas, 1977, Love, Roy Moore, Olde Hickory House. Roy Moore, DA.'”
Allred sat there and did not say a thing. She also remained silent about any knowledge during interviews in the days to come — without confirming forgery or denying it. The interviews with Allred were eagerly replayed by Moore supporters.
Either Allred never bothered to confirm that facts before taking her client into a national press conference or she played an active role in a misrepresentation to the media. Either way, she has again failed to meet the minimal standard for professional conduct. This is ultimately a question of due diligence.
Now Allred is threatening defamation. She is demanding that Nelson be given back her reputation. That is understandable since Moore called her a liar. Time to make good on the press threats and actually file against Moore. We can then have both sides subjected to depositions and discovery in the civil litigation system.