The home of a woman who accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct burned down earlier this week in a fire currently being investigated for arson. Moore accuser Tina Johnson's home in Alabama caught fire on Tuesday. While local authorities are investigating whether the fire was an act of arson, they don't believe the blaze is connected to the allegations Johnson levied against Moore last year.
"The ongoing investigation does not lead us to believe that the fire is in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him," the Etowah County Sheriff's Office said in a statement released Friday. "Investigators are speaking to a person of interest." Law enforcement officials did not elaborate further as to who the person of interest was.
According to Alabama Local, flames broke out at Johnson's house around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, spurring neighbors and utility workers working in the area to call 911. Neither Johnson, her husband, nor her grandson were at the house when the blaze began, having already left for work and school, respectively. In an interview with Alabama Local, Johnson said her family had lost everything. "I am devastated, just devastated," the local news outlet reported Johnson said. "We have just the clothes on our backs."
Johnson was one of multiple women to publicly accuse Moore, the Republican candidate for one of Alabama's Senate seats, of sexual misconduct in the fall of 2017. Johnson alleged Moore "grabbed" her butt as she left his office with her mother after discussing a custody petition regarding her son in 1991. She also alleged Moore flirted with her throughout their meeting. At the time of the alleged incident Johnson was 28 and Moore, then an attorney, would have been in his mid 40s. Moore has denied all of the allegations levied against him, including Johnson's.
In an interview with the Today Show in November, Johnson said Moore had "scarred me for life." She said she'd initially felt "so ashamed" about what had happened and thought her clothing — a black and white dress she'd thought made her look professional — was to blame. Johnson said her opinion of the incident had since changed. "I was vulnerable from the start, and he was in a position of power," she told the Today show. "He wanted to take my power, so he could feel powerful."
News of Johnson's house burning down spurred Katie Jacobs Stanton, a former staffer for President Obama, to launch the GoFundMe campaign, "Help Tina Johnson Rebuild Her Home." Over 3,000 people had raised more than $96,000 in the first 21 hours of the campaign, exceeding Stanton's $40,000 goal.
"I don't know Tina Johnson. But I believe her," Stanton wrote in the campaign's description. "Tina Johnson bravely shared a story about being sexually harrassed [sic] by Roy Moore. It has always been dangerous and risky for women (and men) to speak out against sexual harrasmment [sic]. Today, this danger reached a disturbing level." All of the money raised is expected to go to Johnson to help with living expense and the cost of rebuilding her home.
On Twitter, Stanton said that although she'd never set up a GoFundMe campaign before she'd been inspired to create one for Johnson as she'd found the news of the fire "really upsetting."
A total of nine women have levied allegations of sexual misconduct or unwanted romantic advances against Moore, a former Alabama judge. Among the allegations are claims Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl and either pursued or attempted to pursue relationships with other girls between the ages of 16 and 18 when he was in his 30s. Another woman accused the Alabama Senate candidate of sexually assaulting her in a car when she was 16. Moore, who is now 70, has repeatedly denied all of the allegations against him.