Leigh Corfman's 'Today' Interview Is Difficult To Watch: "I Felt Like I Was The One To Blame"
The first woman to accuse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, Leigh Corfman, spoke out on the Today show Monday morning. Savannah Guthrie interviewed the now 53-year-old, and the interview touched on everything from what Corfman claims happened to her to how The Washington Post piece came about, and what she'd say to Moore given that he claims not to even know her. “I wonder how many mes he doesn’t know," Corfman said on the show.
Corfman alleges that when she was just 14 and Moore was 32 they met at a courthouse. In following encounters, she claims he took off her clothes and then guided her hand toward him over his underwear, she says. Moore has vehemently denied the accusations, calling them "completely false," adding, "I don't know Ms. Corfman from anybody." He did not rule out having dated girls under 18.
Corfman retold the story Monday. "I wouldn't exactly call it a date. I would call it a meet. At 14 I was not dating," Corfman tells Guthrie. "At 14 I was not able to make those kinds of choices. I met him around the corner from my house. My mother did not know, and he took me to his home." She then details him "seducing" her, which she says included taking off much of her clothing and touching her. Corfman also says Moore removed everything he had on except briefs and trying to get her to touch him.
That's when she pulled back and the encounter ended, she tells Guthrie. "I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult's world, and he was 32-years-old," Corfman says.
One of the topics that Corfman addressed was the timing of her announcement. She says that at the time she told a few good friends, then eventually her family too. But she couldn't go public earlier in her life, even though she wanted to. "I sat in the courthouse parking lot. I thought, I'm going to go in and confront him," Corfman said of an instance she remembers in 2000 or 2001. "I wanted to walk into his office and say, 'Hey, remember me? You need to knock this stuff off.'"
But she says her children were small, and so she didn't do it. She did tell her kids what had happened and they were concerned her coming forward could hurt them socially given Moore's prominence in the community. "We decided together that we wouldn't do it at that time," Corfman tells Guthrie.
This time around she says The Washington Post contacted her, and she was not paid in any way for the article. "It literally fell in my lap." Corfman says. "I told the reporters, who were just wonderful to me, that if they found additional people, I would tell my story. And they found those people."
As for how it has affected her life, Corfman says that it has taken away "a lot of the specialness of interactions with men." She also says it took away trust, and it has taken years for her to regain confidence in herself. "I felt guilty," Corfman says. "I felt like I was the one that was to blame."
But she also addressed a positive aspect of coming forward now. "Here's the beauty of what has happened," Corfman tells Guthrie. "The support has been amazing. Women and men have come forward to tell their stories that have never had the ability to do so because of my courageous actions."
Corman ended the interview looking at a picture of herself at 14. Corfman says, "She sure did have a lot of promise ahead of her, and she didn't deserve to have a 32-year-old man prey upon her."