A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 16-years-old claimed Friday she annotated a message he left in her high school yearbook.
This is important for several reasons, most especially because the yearbook has been presented as evidence of Beverly Young Nelson’s alleged encounters with Moore when she was a minor and he was in his 30s.
When Nelson first presented the book to the public on Nov. 13, she never said anything about scribbling a date, location or any other identifier after Moore’s alleged note and signature. Had Nelson mentioned this, she would’ve spared a lot of people the time and effort they spent trying to reconcile the differences in ink color and handwriting style.
But Nelson’s problem here is much greater than wasted time. By failing to disclose from the get-got that she also wrote in the yearbook, she has opened herself up to legitimate questions about her credibility. She has certainly called into question the judgment and reliability of her attorney, celebrity ambulance chaser Gloria Allred.
And it is a fair question: Why are we only now hearing about Nelson’s additions?
All that said, it’s also important to stress that Nelson claimed she only put a date, an incorrect identifier for Moore's title at the time (he was deputy district attorney, not district attorney) and a location in her yearbook. That’s it.
"He signed your yearbook?" ABC News’ Tom Llamas asked.
"He did sign it," Young said.
"And you made some notes underneath?" Llamas followed-up.
She responded simply, “Yes."
If this exchange upon which we’re basing this particular news cycle, it means Nelson is guilty of little more than annotation. It’d be a stretch to accuse her of “forgery,” which would involve deliberately altering or faking the handwriting of another person, for adding the date and location. One could maybe argue that adding "DA" constitutes some sort of offshoot of forgery, but even that’d be reaching. She never claimed she wrote Moore’s signature, nor did she say she added any additional message to the note he reportedly left in her book.
But details have never really mattered all that much to MAGA-wing media.
“WE CALLED IT! Gloria Allred Accuser **ADMITS** She Tampered With Roy Moore’s Yearbook ‘Signature,’” read a headline published on the Gateway Pundit website.
The story cheered, “Following The Gateway Pundit’s viral story on Judge Roy Moore’s alleged signature inside accuser Beverly Young Nelson’s yearbook, more evidence suggested it was a forgery.”
Disgraced former college dean and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza giddily tweeted, “I notice highly muted media coverage of the bombshell revelation that Roy Moore’s ordinary accuser forged his signature in her yearbook.”
This is not what the revelation is, though. Neither Nelson nor anyone else ever claimed she wrote Moore’s signature. But it’s clear where D’Souza got that talking point.
“Bombshell: Roy Moore accuser Beverly Nelson admits she forged yearbook,” read a Breitbart News headline published Friday morning.
It was more of the same at Fox News.
“Roy Moore accuser admits she forged part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama senate candidate,” read the headline to a report published not long after Nelson’s ABC appearance.
To Fox’s credit, it amended the headline and story and eventually removed the claim that Nelson had "forged" anything in the yearbook.
“An update to this story reflects that Beverly Young Nelson admits writing what ABC News characterized as ‘notes’ beneath what she says is Roy Moore’s signature, and that the only notes below the signature are the date and location,” an editor’s note reads.
It adds, “Furthermore, the headline on story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it.”
Fox also deleted a tweet that used the word “forged.”
A good effort, but the damage had already been done. The narrative that Nelson “forged” the yearbook is going to stick, and you better believe the Moore campaign is excited about that:
Boyfriend at the time says she lied.
Employees of the restaurant say she lied.
Customers of the restaurant say she lied.
Her step son says she lied.
Now she herself admits to lying.
Let’s count how many national outlets will ignore the fact that she admits to lying. https://t.co/9D5OYCVORx— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) December 8, 2017