Witnesses: We never saw Roy Moore, Nelson at Olde Hickory


The campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has produced three eyewitnesses who are refuting the claims of a woman who says Moore assaulted her behind a Gadsden, Alabama restaurant in 1977.

“I was a waitress at Olde Hickory for almost three years, from 1977-1979, and I never saw Roy Moore come in to the restaurant. Not one time,” Rhonda Ledbetter stated in a lengthy press release that picked apart the claims of Moore accuser Beverly Nelson.

Nelson described the alleged sexual assault at a Nov. 13 press conference, where she wiped away tears as she recalled how the then-assistant district attorney, described as a frequent customer, offered her a ride home one night but instead parked behind the restaurant and sexually assaulted her.

The Washington Post turned the Senate race upside down with a story quoting several women who said Moore pursued them as teenagers or, in the worst allegation, sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old.

Moore did not deny pursuing late-teen girls in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, but the Senate candidate – a Republican who is backed by conservative Christians in his Senate bid – denied the claims that he sexually assaulted any of the women. One of those women, Leigh Corfman, has since described her claims on the “Today” show on NBC.

Days after the Post story broke, Nelson came forward and described the alleged assault as the national media listened and feminist attorney Gloria Allred sat beside her.

“Mr. Roy Moore was a regular customer,” Nelson read from a written statement that was reprinted by The New York Times. “He came in almost every night and would stay until closing time. He sat at the counter in the same seat night after night. I remember exactly where he sat.”

Nelson also produced a high school yearbook, which she claimed Moore once signed, but the campaign shot back that the signature was likely forged because the forger clumsily reprinted “D.A.” from Nelson’s own divorce documents signed by Moore. The letters “D.A.” were the initials of a court clerk, not “district attorney” as Nelson and Allred claimed.

Moore has denied even knowing the restaurant existed – a claim that was scoffed at by the media one week ago – but now Ledbetter and two other people, a former police officer and a second Olde Hickory waitress, have come forward to refute Nelson’s claims.