Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama received an unlikely late-campaign boost Friday from one of his own accusers, who acknowledged that she incorrectly described Moore's inscription in her high school yearbook.
A handwriting expert has concluded that the signature in then-16-year-old Beverly Young Nelson's yearbook was, in fact, Roy Moore's, attorney Gloria Allred said at a Friday press conference.
While Moore has denied knowing Nelson, she has produced her high school yearbook where Moore allegedly wrote before the incident: "To a sweeter, more handsome girl I could not say Merry Christmas".
Allred said a notation with the date and place where the inscription was signed was added by Nelson - which led Moore's supporters to blast the whole thing as a "forgery" and "fake news".
Nelson first made her allegations four days after The Washington Post first reported on allegations by Leigh Corfman, who said she was 14 years old when Moore undressed her and touched her over her underwear and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear. He says now that Nelson has admitted to adding notes underneath the signature, the entire story is unbelievable.
Moore denies ever having known her but did rule against her in a divorce proceeding years later when he was a judge.
Moore has denied it is his handwriting, and has called for her to allow his campaign to have a handwriting expert to examine it.
He went on to make a now-familiar argument for electing Moore, saying the country can't afford to have a "liberal Democrat" representing Alabama in the Senate.
She hired her own expert, Arthur T. Anthony, a member of the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners, whom she said confirmed that the writing of the note and signature is Moore's.
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"Furthermore, the headline on [the] story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it".
In a news conference last month, Ms Nelson did not mention any additions.
Republican Roy Moore is running in Alabama's special Senate election Tuesday in a race that has parallels with Donald Trump's White House run.
"We are very transparent", Allred said.
Later on Friday, Ms Nelson and her lawyer said she had added "D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House". His campaign has not specifically contested Gibson's account.
Trump waited until about 40 minutes into his remarks Friday before bringing up the Alabama Senate race before a crowd in a Florida panhandle city in the Mobile, Alabama, media market.
"I have some fear but refuse to be intimidated to silence or retract anything I have said", she said.
The Republican president will hold a rally on Friday evening in Pensacola, Florida, on the Alabama border.
Nelson said she's been bombarded with threats since she came forward, and one person even sent her a photo of a casket.