Woman Claims Roy Moore Called Her High School to Ask Her Out

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Two more allegations of sexual misconduct have emerged against US Senate candidate Roy Moore, in a Washington Post investigation published Wednesday night. Both incidents allegedly stemmed from Moore’s frequenting of a Gadsden, Alabama mall.

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Gena Richardson told the Post that she met Moore in the fall of 1977, around the time of her 18h birthday (either just shy of it or just after, she can’t recall), when she was a high school senior working in the men’s departure of the Sears at the Gadsden Mall. Richardson says Moore, who was 30 years old at the time, approached her, offering a smooth, “You can just call me Roy.” Then he allegedly asked where she attended school, then for her phone number. Richardson says she declined to give Moore her number.

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According to the Post, which spoke to a dozen people who hung out or worked at that mall in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Moore was a fixture of the mall, so much so that one if its managers had warned new hires to “watch out for this guy.”

A few days after the incident at the mall, Richardson says she was in trigonometry class at Gadsden High when she was summoned over the intercom to the principal’s office to receive a phone call, which turned out to be from Moore. Here’s how that conversation allegedly went down, in Richardson’s words: “He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in trig class.’”

Richardson says More asked her out again at Sears a few days later. This time she agreed, but says she was frightened when Moore gave her a “forceful” kiss she hadn’t in the least been wanting.

Another woman who worked at the mall around the same time, Becky Gray, says she complained to her manager about Moore. Gray was 22 when Moore started making frequent visits to the men’s department at Pizitz, where she worked. Gray says he kept asking her out. “I’d always say no, I’m dating someone, no, I’m in a relationship.”

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Moore and his campaign have not addressed these new allegations, but continue to claim any questioning of Moore’s character or past behavior must be politically motivated.

Several women have now made allegations of sexual misconduct and unwanted advances against Moore. The first woman who came forward alleged that Moore assaulted her when she was 14 years old. Even many Republicans who didn’t initially withdraw their support are doing so now.

contributing writer, nights

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DISCUSSION

It’s weird - I’ve been a pretty thoughtful and bold feminist for some time now, and yet there are still pieces of my past that elude me. When I was sixteen, I was at a live-in Catholic informal liberal arts program where we started out with 20 students and ended up with 13 by the end of the year (so small and intimate, with a lot of overlap between school and personal life). I remember one of my lecturers (a 34 year old) I found really attractive, and was delighted that it seemed reciprocal. He took us all to a conference, bought pizza for the others, and we were left at a table, when he whispered to me, “now we can be alone”. We weren’t technically alone as there were many other dinner tables, but I ended up feeling uncomfortable and leaving him to find some friends. Despite this, I continued to crush on him, and he continued to be flirtatious for the rest of the year.

A year or so later, when I ditched that popsicle stand, I mentioned something about the weirdness between us, and he looked at me like I was crazy, so I tucked it away as a sign that I had misread him (emotional, dramatic teen!)

That was one key starting point for years of harassment by peers and authority figures within academia where I didn’t really trust my reactions...

I tucked it all away and just plunged forward, getting harder, or so I thought. All this is starting to bring up old stuff that I thought I had dealt with a long time ago. It even spilled into my dating and relationship life - to the point that I refused to even consider dating until I was almost thirty because men were dirtbags, and now again I just realized that I still keep believing men for what they say rather than what they do and it still impacts my capacity to have a relationship.

I thought there was either trauma or resilience. But it turns out there’s a soft place in between that I have neglected and treated roughly this whole time, thanks to my internalization of gaslighting techniques.

I need some tea.