Speed Reads

Roy Moore

Washington Examiner: Roy Moore likely began dating his wife while she was married

At Roy Moore's rally Tuesday night in Alabama, one speaker denounced the "fake news" and "all the lies from The Washington Post," which first reported that Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate, had inappropriate sexual relationships with teenage girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s. But it was the conservative-leaning Washington Examiner that reported Tuesday night that Moore probably started dating his wife while she was still married to her first husband — technically, adultery.

According to public divorce records, Kayla Moore and her first husband, John Charles Heald, separated on Dec. 1, 1984; filed for divorce on Dec. 28, 1984; and finalized the split on April 19, 1985, the Examiner reports. According to his 2005 book, So Help Me God, Moore met Kayla the week before Christmas 1984, writing later: "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." Moore said they began dating "early in the new year," 1985, and dated for "about a year." They were married on Dec. 14, 1985.

"That would lead readers to believe the pair began dating in late 1984 or early 1985, a period during which court records show his bride-to-be was still legally married to Heald and would be until the spring," write Gabby Morrongiello, Emily Jashinsky, and Philip Wegmann at the Examiner. They quoted a source who said "that was always the assumption" about the Moore courtship.

Moore's campaign disputes this. "Regardless of when they met, Judge and Kayla did not date while she was still with her ex-husband or legally married," campaign spokesman Brett Doster said Tuesday afternoon, calling the question "really scraping the bottom of the barrel." The Examiner did not agree. "Amid an outpouring of misconduct allegations, Moore's campaign has clearly set the standard that details are important and should be vetted rigorously," the reporters wrote. "Why, then, should the inconsistencies surrounding Moore's story not draw his own credibility into question?" Read more at the Washington Examiner.