Woman shares new evidence of relationship with Roy Moore when she was 17

 In U.S.
Debbie Wesson Gibson, who says she dated Roy Moore in 1981, recently found a high school graduation card she says he gave her at the time and inscribed to her. When another woman who accused Moore of sexual assault showed an inscription she said that Moore had written to her, Gibson said she recognized Moore’s handwriting. Moore, who is running for the U.S. Senate, said in a campaign appearance last week, “I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone.” (Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post)

Debbie Wesson Gibson was in her attic hauling out boxes of Christmas decorations last week when she noticed a storage bin she said she had forgotten about. Inside was a scrapbook from her senior year of high school, and taped to a page titled “Those Who Inspire” was a graduation card.

“Happy graduation Debbie,” it read in slanted cursive handwriting. “I wanted to give you this card myself. I know that you’ll be a success in anything you do. Roy.”

The inscription, Gibson said, was written by Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for U.S. Senate who in recent days has repeatedly denied the accounts of five women who told The Washington Post that he pursued them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Since those allegations were published last month, four more women have come forward to allege that Moore made unwanted sexual advances. The accounts in The Post included those of Leigh Corfman, who said she was 14 when Moore touched her sexually, and Gibson, who said that she publicly dated Moore when she was 17 and he was 34, a relationship she said she “wore like a badge of honor” until she began reevaluating it in light of the accounts of other women, and now, Moore’s own denials.

Shortly after the allegations first surfaced, Moore said in a radio interview with Sean Hannity that he did not know Corfman but that he remembered Gibson as well as Gloria Thacker Deason, who had told The Post that she dated Moore when she was 18. He called each one “a good girl” and said that he did not remember dating them.

But at two campaign events in recent days, Moore has backtracked.

At a Nov. 27 campaign event in the north Alabama town of Henagar, Moore said: “The allegations are completely false. They are malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women.”

At a Nov. 29 rally at a church in the south Alabama town of Theodore, Moore said, “Let me state once again: I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone.”

Gibson said that after finding the scrapbook, she was not sure whether to make it public given the threats she received after publication of the original story. Then she heard what Moore said last week, she said, and contacted The Post.

“He called me a liar,” said Gibson, who says she not only openly dated Moore when she was 17 but later joined him in passing out fliers during his campaign for circuit court judge in 1982 and exchanged Christmas cards with him over the years. “Roy Moore made an egregious mistake to attack that one thing — my integrity.”


A photo of Debbie Wesson Gibson when she was a high school senior, as seen in a scrapbook she kept during her senior year at Etowah High School. (Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post)

The Moore campaign did not respond to numerous requests for comment for this article.

Two of the other women named in The Post article have also pushed back in recent days against Moore.

In an open letter to Moore published on the Alabama news site Al.com after Moore’s Nov. 27 speech, Corfman wrote that “I am done being silent.”

“You sent out your spokesman to call me a liar. Day after day. Finally, last night, you did the dirty work yourself . . .” she wrote. “What you did to me when I was 14-years old should be revolting to every person of good morals. But now you are attacking my honesty and integrity. Where does your immorality end?”

In a statement to The Post after Moore’s Nov. 29 speech, Paula Cobia, an attorney for Deason, recounted Deason’s vivid memories of dating Moore, including specific restaurants she says they frequented and the velvet-collared dress Deason says she wore when she says Moore took her to a social function at a Ramada Inn.

“No matter what lies Roy Moore may choose to tell now,” Cobia said, “the truth was the first thing out of his mouth when it came to remembering Gloria.”

Gibson, 54, now lives in Delray Beach, Fla., is a registered Republican and is the founder of a company that provides sign language interpretation. Though she said the bulk of her work is in educational, medical and legal settings, her clients have included Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, and Republicans such as the mayor of Miami. She said that despite requests from dozens of media outlets, she had “very carefully said absolutely nothing” after her account was first published in The Post, because of a barrage of threatening hate mail she received, prompting her to notify her local police department. She and the other women have been accused by Moore’s surrogates of lying, or being paid to spread false stories, or being part of a larger political conspiracy to defeat Moore.

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