Moore Accuser Says She Made Notes Underneath Roy Moore’s Signature In Her Yearbook (UPDATE: Allred Press Conference)
[guest post by Dana]
Hoo-boy. Beverly Young Nelson, who has alleged that Roy Moore assaulted her when she was 16, was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America today. During the interview she was asked about what she claims is Roy Moore’s signature in her high school yearbook:
“Beverly, he signed your yearbook?” ABC News reporter Tom Llamas asked.
“He did sign it,” Nelson replied.
“And you made some notes underneath?” Llamas followed up.
“Yes,” she answered.
Here is the yearbook signature:
During a press conference last month with her attorney, Gloria Allred, Nelson said that when Moore spotted her yearbook on the counter at the restaurant where she was working and which he regularly frequented, he asked her if he could sign it. She agreed. The yearbook signature was presented by Nelson and Allred as connecting Moore to Nelson at the time of the alleged incident.
After that press conference, Moore’s attorney, Phillip Jarequi responded by asking, “Do you still hold that everything written in that yearbook was written by Judge Moore? Or was it written by somebody else? That’s not an allegation, it’s a question.” He followed up with a request that the yearbook be turned over to a neutral third-party for examination. Allred declined the request, and explained that she would be happy to hand it over to a neutral third-party on the condition that a Select Committee on Ethics open an investigation into Moore.
It’s surprising that someone with the extensive experience that Allred has in these matters, was not transparent about the distinction between the inscription and notes underneath it at the time of the press conference. Perhaps she didn’t know. But, if she didn’t know, then to what level of ineptitude on her part does that speak? And if Allred didn’t know about Nelson adding the notes, why wasn’t due diligence done by the attorney so that she did know? One last thing, I would like to know at what point Nelson added her notes.
It’s good to bear in mind that because Nelson has admitted that she added the notes, does not mean that her claims of assault by Moore are untrue. However, it does undermine her credibility. And unfortunately, it will have a ripple effect with other victims. One last thing, I would like to know at what point in time Nelson added her notes.
Allred is reportedly holding a news conference later today in which she will present evidence to support her client’s claims.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Allow me to quote myself from November 30:
As to the claim that the yearbook was “doctored”: there is handwriting under Moore’s signature denoting the place and time of the signature, which appears (to me, at least) to be different handwriting. Whether that means it has been “doctored” is a matter of interpretation, and depends largely on whether Nelson has actively claimed that all the handwriting was Moore’s, including the inscription about the location and date. (I don’t think she has, but I am open to correction by someone armed with proof.)
Emphasis added. I would add that even if Nelson did not explicitly claim this, it showed a lack of forthrightness on her part and on the part of Allred not to say this up front.
This leaves the issue of the ink. I have seen photos from the press conference that make it look like Moore’s last name and the date and location are in bluish ink while the rest is in black. Other photos seem to show all the writing in black. If the former is accurate then it is possible the last name was added as well as the date and location — and that (if true) could be properly called a forgery. But I am not clear on the ink issue.
Meanwhile John Nolte at Breitbart alleged an admission of a forgery, which was false — and Fox News made a similar claim that was since retracted. There is a lot of irresponsible commentary going around.
UPDATE: As expected, Gloria Allred held a press conference this afternoon and addressed the admission made by Beverly Young Nelson that she added notes underneath Roy Moore’s signature and inscription in her yearbook.
Allred said that she had the yearbook signature, not the notation “D.A. 12 -22-77 Olde Hickory House,” examined by forensic document expert Arthur Anthony. Allred did not say whether Anthony actually was a neutral third-party whose selection was agreed upon by Moore’s attorney Phillip Jarequi, or if he was just her go-to guy. With that, according to Allred:
Allred told reporters that she did not ask the expert, Arthur Anthony, to examine the printing because “Beverly indicates she added that to remind herself of who Roy Moore was and where and when Mr. Moore signed her yearbook.” Nelson acknowledged in an interview with ABC News that aired Friday that she had added notes to Moore’s inscription.
Allred provided reporters with the report provided by Anthony, with his assessment that the signature in the yearbook is Moore’s. Included in the sheaf of papers she presented were examples of Moore signature from when he was a deputy district attorney decades ago.
“She never said that he wrote that,” Allred told the press, referring to the date and location that appear at the end of the quote.
Allred continued to speak highly of Nelson throughout the presser.
“She’s just so brave. I can’t tell you, this kind of courage is something that should inspire so many people, especially women,” she said.
The lawyer also added that Nelson could actually be in physical danger.
“I think she’s in danger and she knows it,” she said. “There are people who feel very comfortable saying things like ‘she should be stoned in the town square’ and sending a photo of a casket. Who does that?”
“This is not easy against a well-funded, political and powerful guy in Alabama.”
Allred reiterated that she and Nelson would be happy to the Senate examine the yearbook.