A lawyer representing GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore has sent a letter to an Alabama news outlet demanding it issue a retraction for its reporting on Moore, according to a radio host who shared the document on Facebook.
In the letter sent to Alabama Media Group on Tuesday, Trenton Garmon, an attorney for Moore, accused the local news group of “careless and/or malicious reporting” about the embattled Senate hopeful, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
The letter was obtained and shared by conservative radio host Steve Deace on Tuesday.
Writing to lawyers for Alabama Media Group, Trenton demands that the news group preserve potential evidence that it sought to defame Moore by reporting on Monday that another woman came forward to accuse Moore of sexual assault in 1977.
The news group also reported on Monday that Alabama residents said Moore had been well known for his “predatory” behavior at a local mall. Moore’s lawyer criticized the outlet for “seeking out, and/or reporting from those who did, individuals who falsely portray the reputation of [Moore].”
The letter demands that the news group issue a “full and fair public retraction” for its reporting within five days or face a defamation lawsuit.
Defamation lawsuits involving public figures face a high burden of proof and require that plaintiffs prove that a news organization or journalist acted with reckless disregard for the truth or “actual malice.”
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Moore threatened to sue The Washington Post after the newspaper published an explosive report last week detailing allegations by four women that Moore pursued relationships with them while they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.
One of those women, Leigh Corfman, told the Post that she was just 14 when Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979. He was 32 at the time.
Moore has vehemently denied Corman’s claim, but has not ruled out dating teenagers while he was in his 30s, telling Sean Hannity on his radio program last week that he did not remember doing so.
A fifth accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, alleged on Monday that Moore assaulted her when she was 16, and that the attack had happened days after he signed her yearbook. Moore has denied that account, saying that he never met Nelson.
Still, the allegations have sparked political backlash for Moore, who has faced calls from Republican lawmakers in recent days to drop his Senate bid. Moore has so far resisted those calls.
Alabama’s Senate special election is set for Dec. 12, when Moore will face off against Democrat Doug Jones for the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE.