The woman who alleges that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32 says she feels "like a weight has been lifted" since she came forward, after waiting for nearly four decades.
Leigh Corfman appeared on the "Today" show Monday for her first television interview since accusing Moore, the Republican candidate vying to fill the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore has denied that he's committed sexual misconduct after Corfman and eight other women alleged sexual misconduct.
Asked about Moore's denial — he's said he doesn't know Corfman — she was skeptical: "I wonder how many mes he doesn't know."
Corfman said she has, over the years, told friends and her children her story: Going to Moore's house in 1979, where he laid blankets on the floor and "proceeded to seduce me," she said, recounting the meeting to Savannah Guthrie.
Moore took off her clothes down to her underwear, Corfman said, took off his own pants, touched her over her underwear and tried to get her to do the same. She said she felt uncomfortable, got dressed and had him take her home.
"I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult's world," she explained, adding that it wasn't what she expected after reading Harlequin romance novels. "I was expecting candlelight and roses and what I got was very different."
Some of Moore's defenders have questioned why Corfman and the other accusers hadn't come forward with their stories before, suggesting they were motivated by politics.
Moore made national headlines in 2003 for defying a Supreme Court order order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments he commissioned for the Alabama Judicial Building when he was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He recently beat the candidate President Donald Trump supported in the U.S. Senate primary and faces Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney known for prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan, in the December special election.
Moore has lost support from many Republicans in Washington since Corfman and other women came forward. The White House said Trump has found the accusations "very troubling."
Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, has said he won't step down from the race, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for. She's also alleged that Corfman was paid for speaking to The Washington Post, which first reported Corfman's story earlier this month.
In Monday's interview, Corfman, a longtime Republican, denied both that coming forward was a political act and that she's been paid for speaking up.
"If anything this has cost me," she said. "I've had to take leave from my job, I have no tickets to Tahiti and my bank account has not flourished. If anything it has gone down."
Corfman said that she immediately told two friends about the incident after it happened, and later told her family. "I spent a lot of time every time he came up railing against him and what he had done to me when I was 14 years old," she said, but noted that she was a single parent of small children.
She did eventually tell her children about her story, once they were in junior high and elementary schools, but they decided together not to come forward so as not to have the kids be ostracized.
But after the Post persuaded her to go on the record about what happened after speaking to three other women who alleged sexual misconduct with Moore when they were much younger than him, Corfman said she's received lots of "amazing" support. More women have since come forward.
Though she cut off contact with Moore after the blanket incident, Corfman said it left her feeling guilty and without some self-confidence. "It took away a lot of the specialness of interactions with men," she said.
Shown a photo of herself at 14, Corfman said, "She sure did have a lot of promise ahead of her and she didn't deserve to have a 32-year-old man prey on her."