The woman who told the Washington Post that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore molested her when she was 14 said Monday it took decades to overcome the shame she felt afterward.
“It took away a lot of the specialness out of interactions with men. It took some trust away,” Leigh Corfman said in an interview with NBC’s “Today.” “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.”
Moore has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct made by Corfman and other women who claim he pursued them when they were teens. He has blamed "the Obama-Clinton machine" and establishment Republicans for these decades-old accusations arising weeks before the election.
Corfman said Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, approached her outside the courthouse while she was waiting for her mother one day, asked for her phone number, and later invited her to his house.
According to Corfman, the second time she went to Moore’s house, he “proceeded to 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,” she told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. She said she was frightened and had him take her home.
Corfman said she told two friends what happened immediately and later told her family as well. She only told her story publicly after Washington Post reporters found her.
She emphasized that she is not getting paid or profiting from this exposure, adding that she has had to take a leave of absence from her job.
“If anything, this has cost me,” she said. “I have no tickets to Tahiti and my bank account has not flourished. If anything it has gone down because currently I’m not working.”
Moore is up against Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the position temporarily, lost to Moore in the Republican primary.
Many Republicans have pulled their support for Moore since the allegations by Corfman and others were reported earlier this month, but the Alabama Republican Party is standing by him and Gov. Kay Ivey has said she will vote for him despite having no reason to doubt his accusers.
“We need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on the things like Supreme Court Justices, other appointments the Senate has to confirm and major decisions,” Ivey said last week.
President Donald Trump had tweeted support for Moore earlier in the race, but the White House said he will not campaign for Moore due to his “discomfort” with the allegations.
"We are uncomfortable with the explanations that Roy Moore has given to date," White House legislative director Marc Short said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. "Obviously if he did not believe that the women's accusations were credible, he would be down campaigning for Roy Moore."
However, on “Fox & Friends” Monday, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway blasted Jones as “a doctrinaire liberal” and claimed he is “weak on crime, weak on borders.”
“I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” Conway said when asked directly if Alabamans should vote for Moore.