Roy Moore, the scandal-plagued Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, may have dated his wife while she was still married to her first husband in spite of claims to the contrary. An analysis of court documents and Moore’s own claims about their courtship indicates that Moore and Kayla Kisor may have met before Kayla filed for divorce and dated before the divorce was final.
The Washington Examiner recently pointed out the apparent contradictions between Moore’s account, published in his 2005 book, “So Help Me God,” and court records from Kayla Kisor’s divorce case. Moore wrote that, after meeting Kayla at church shortly before Christmas 1984, “I was determined to get to know her, but Kayla, divorced and with a beautiful little girl, Heather, who was nearly a year old, was not interested in a relationship with anyone.”
However, when the Examiner looked into the details of Kisor’s case, they found that she had only separated from her first husband, John Charles Heald, on Dec. 1, 1984. Kisor did not file for divorce until Dec. 28, 1984 and it was several months before her divorce was finalized on April 19, 1985.
“Regardless of when they met, Judge and Kayla did not date while she was still with her ex-husband or legally married,” Moore campaign spokesman Brett Doster told the Examiner.
In Moore’s account, he and Kayla began dating “soon after” she visited the law office of one of Moore’s colleagues “early in the new year” of 1985. According to Moore, the couple dated “for about a year.”
A source familiar with Kayla’s first marriage told the Examiner that Moore gave Kayla’s daughter a puppy for Valentine’s Day in 1985, two months before Kayla’s divorce was final. It was “was always an assumption” that the couple dated while Kayla was still legally married, the source said.
Moore and Kayla were married on Dec. 14, 1985, approximately a year after their first meeting and eight months after Kayla’s divorce became final. Roy Moore was 38 and Kayla was 24 at the time.
Kayla was 21 at the time of her first marriage, which lasted two-and-a-half years. Her petition for divorce cited “cruel treatment during the marriage.”
Roy Moore has been accused by numerous women of harassing teenage girls in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In some cases, the women say that Moore touched them inappropriately. One of the accusations of sexual assault came from a 14-year-old girl.
AL.com provides a further description of Moore’s 1984 meeting with Kisor. “Sitting with her mother on the sofa against the wall was a beautiful young woman,” Moore wrote in his book. “I learned that her name was Kayla.”
Moore wrote that he had met Kayla previously, but did not specify when. He did describe the occasion: “Many years before, I had attended a dance recital at Gadsden State Junior College. I remembered one of the special dances performed by a young woman whose first and last names began with the letter 'K.' It was something I had never forgotten. Could that young woman have been Kayla Kisor? Anxious to meet her, I began with the line, 'Haven't we met somewhere before?’”
In an interview cited by Newsweek earlier this year, Moore said, “I was standing at the back of the auditorium and I saw her at the front and I remember her name, it was Kayla Kisor, K.K. It was, oh gosh, eight years later or something, I met her and when she told me her name I remembered K.K.”
Eight years prior to their 1984 meeting would have been about 1976 or 1977. Moore would have been 29 and Kayla 15 at the time of their first meeting. Beverly Young Nelson, who accused Moore of assaulting her in a car when she was 16, was a high school sophomore in the same class as Kayla Kisor in 1977.
Moore’s spokesman said the questions about the discrepancies from the Washington Examiner were “really scraping the bottom of the barrel.” The Washington Examiner is a conservative newspaper.
The Examiner noted that Moore’s campaign has attacked the credibility of his accusers “based on alleged inconsistencies in marginal details of their accounts.” The Moore campaign has called Moore’s signature in a yearbook a forgery and questioned such details as locations of telephones and names of restaurants.
“Amid an outpouring of misconduct allegations, Moore’s campaign has clearly set the standard that details are important and should be vetted rigorously,” The Examiner responded. “Why, then, should the inconsistencies surrounding Moore’s story not draw his own credibility into question?”