Roy Moore accuser speaks out about her experience: “I did tell people”

Leigh Corfman, who says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 14, tells NBC’s Today that her friends and family have known for decades

From the November 20 edition of NBC's Today:

Video file

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE (HOST): What did you think in that moment? Did you think, I was just molested or assaulted? Or did you not really think about it in those terms? 

LEIGH CORFMAN: I don't know that I really thought about it those terms because it wasn't part of my vocabulary. I’d been reading Harlequin romances for years at that point, and I was expecting candlelight and roses, and what I got was very different. Very different.

GUTHRIE: Did you tell anyone at the time? 

CORFMAN: Right after it, I told two of my good friends. And then I told one other, and they told me how bad of an idea this was and -- 

GUTHRIE: To be with an older man like that. 

CORFMAN: Right. And that we weren't prepared for that. When he called again I didn't go. I made an excuse, you know, and I didn't go. 

GUTHRIE: How do you think that interaction affected your life? 

CORFMAN: Well, it took away a lot of the specialness of interactions with men. It took some trust away. It allowed me to delve into some things that I wouldn't have otherwise. 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, and it was decades before I was able to let that go. 

GUTHRIE: You speak of decades, and, of course, it has been decades that you've held this secret. 


GUTHRIE: There will be people watching who say, “Why now? Why not bring this up over the last few years?” Particularly when Roy Moore, who was a rising star in Alabama politics, ran for election, was a chief justice of the Supreme Court [of Alabama], and they say, “It doesn't add up. Why wait?” How do you respond to that? 

CORFMAN: Well, it's very simple really. I did tell people. My family knew. Family friends knew. My friends knew. I spent a lot of time every time he came up railing against him and what he had done to me when I was 14 years old. My children were small. I was a single parent. And when you're in that situation, you do everything you can to protect your own. And I sat in the courtroom -- in the courthouse parking lot and thought, I'm going in, I'm going to confront him. 

GUTHRIE: Years later you thought about it.

CORFMAN: And this is 2000, 2001. And I wanted to walk into his office and say, “Hey, remember me? You need to knock this stuff off. I need to go public.” My children were small, so I didn't do it. The second time, I actually sat down with my children who were then junior high and elementary school and I told them a high overview and gave them the ability to make the decision. They were afraid that with all of their social connections that they would be castigated in their groups.

GUTHRIE: You had to tell your kids something about what had happened. 

CORFMAN: I had to tell my kids. Right. And we decided together that we wouldn't do it at that time. So when The Washington Post sought me out, I didn't go looking for this. This fell in my lap. It literally fell in my lap. And I had to make a decision. And I told them that at that time the reporters who all, just wonderful to me, that if they found additional people, that I would tell my story. And they found those people. 


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