On Friday, a jury in Alabama ruled that a Democrat Super PAC defamed Roy Moore, the former Republican candidate for US Senate in Alabama, and gave him $8.2 million in compensation for his damaged reputation.
Moore’s complaint against the D.C.-based Senate Majority PAC focuses on an advertisement they ran during his Senate bid in Alabama’s 2017 special election.
After the Washington Post published a story claiming that Roy Moore made sexual advances on four teenage girls between 1977 and 1982, his candidacy in Alabama came to an end.
As the Associated Press reported:
“The lawsuit focused on one television advertisement that chronicled allegations against Moore in several news articles. Moore’s attorneys maintained that the ad, through the juxtaposition of statements, falsely implied that he solicited sex from underage girls at a mall, including another 14-year-old who worked as a Santa’s helper, and led to him getting banned from the mall.”
“The case is about an ad that began: What do people who have interacted with Roy Moore say?” It continued with, “Moore was banned from the Gadsden mall for soliciting sex from underage girls” and “One that he approached was only 14 and employed as Santa’s helper.” Both quotations were taken from several news stories.
“They strung sentences together in their ad to form a single statement. That’s what the jury found objectionable,” Moore’s attorney Jeff Wittenbrink added. “They get up and lie and say they didn’t intend it,” he continued.
No charges were brought against Moore, who was the state’s chief justice on the Alabama Supreme Court before being removed from office.
When the Washington Post’s story on his alleged conduct leaked, he continued to maintain his innocence and vehemently denied the allegations.
“This trash is the very epitome of phony news and intentional libel,” Moore added.
“Vindication,” said Moore. “It’s a huge loss for the Senate Majority PAC.”
“This is a huge hit to a significant super PAC in Washington, DC that tried to influence the Alabama Senate election. The people of this state are fed up with dirty politics and attempts by the establishment in Washington, DC, to dictate who voters choose for the US Senate.”