Tarnished memories

Woman who said she dated Roy Moore when she was 17 — and he was 34 — provides ‘proof’ of their relationship

Debbie Wesson Gibson. (YouTube / The Washington Post)

A woman who said she publicly dated Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 17 has contradicted his claim that he doesn’t know who she is by sharing a high school graduation card she said she received from him. Five women have accused Moore of sexually harassing or assaulting them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers — including one woman who said Moore stripped her to her underwear and fondled her when she was 14 — and four other women have also accused him of groping and unwanted sexual advances. Moore, who had previously admitted that he knew at least two of his accusers, Gloria Thacker Deason and Debbie Wesson Gibson, revised his story last Monday by claiming he unequivocally did not “know any of [the women]” who have spoken out against him.

Gibson, 54, said that she had “very carefully said absolutely nothing” after the Post first published news of her relationship with Moore when she was 17 because of the threats and hate mail she had received. She also told The Washington Post that she had not wanted to believe the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Moore. She revealed that she had always worn her relationship with the then 34-year-old “like a badge of honor.” But she said she was forced to reevaluate after seeing reports that Moore had serially targeted other teenagers — including Beverly Young Nelson, who accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16, and who also shared an inscription in high school yearbook that she said Moore wrote.

“I just couldn’t imagine him doing something like that,” Gibson said. “And then when I saw the interview from Beverly, and I saw his handwriting in her yearbook, my heart just sank. And when I saw what I knew to be Roy Moore’s handwriting, I just began to sob openly.”

She decided to share a scrapbook from high school with the Post after hearing Moore claim that he didn’t know her. Included in the scrapbook was a marking of her first date with Moore in 1981, and a graduation card that she said Moore gave to her.

“Roy S. Moore and I went out for the first time. We went out to eat at Catfish Cabin in Albertville. I had a great time,” read an inscription on a page titled, “the best times.” The word “great” was underlined twice. In a note next to the graduation card, she wrote: “Roy Moore inspires me because he is such a successful man himself. Also, he is about the only person I know of who seriously believes in me. I appreciate that. He’s got to be one of the nicest people I know.”

Those positive feelings, Gibson admitted, have now been permanently tarnished.

“It takes what I thought was a very lovely part of my past, and it colors it, and it changes it irrevocably. It changes it permanently,” she told the Post. “He called me a liar. Roy Moore made an egregious mistake to attack that one thing — my integrity.”

Speaking with The Post, Gibson also shared other stories about Moore from after they dated — including the time she introduced him to her fiance.

Watch video of Gibson’s interview with the Post below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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