Fox News was forced to issue a correction after falsely claiming that a woman accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual assault had forged an entry into her high school yearbook that was signed by Moore.
Beverly Young Nelson, who accused Moore of sexually assaulting her nearly 40 years ago when she was 16 years old, told Tom Llamas, of ABC News, in a Friday interview that she made notes underneath Moore’s entry.
Nelson said Moore signed the yearbook and she added the date and location of the signature underneath.
“Beverly, he signed your yearbook?” Llamas asked.
“He did sign it,” Nelson replied.
“And you made some notes underneath?” Llamas followed.
“Yes,” she confirmed.
Fox News issued a Tweet that read: “BREAKING NEWS: Roy Moore accuser admits she forged part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama senate candidate.”
Fox News has since deleted the tweet and updated the story with a note at the bottom of the piece that reads: “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. Furthermore, the headline on [the] story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it.”
As the Hill notes, Breitbart News also called Nelson’s notes a forgery but has not updated its lead story to reflect the correct facts.
“Bombshell: Roy Moore Accuser Beverly Nelson Admits She Forged Yearbook,” reads the Breitbart headline.
Legal analysts note that Nelson could potentially sue Fox News for libel:
BREAKING: Forgery is a crime—as is fraud—which means Beverly Nelson can SUE the LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of Fox News for FALSELY claiming she “forged” evidence in a civil case. In fact, Nelson did no more than add a date and place beneath “Judge” Roy Moore’s creepy yearbook comments. pic.twitter.com/CefTZtGHVh
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 8, 2017
“Forgery” is an actual crime. As such, Beverly Young Nelson can sue Fox News for libel.
Also, adding a date and a location to a document is common practice in legal proceedings.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) December 8, 2017
Hey @FoxNews! You should know that the Internet doesn’t forget.
Since you’re (falsely and likely maliciously) accusing someone of the crime of forgery, this is defamation per se. You guys really like getting sued, huh? https://t.co/RdPSzTXQSo pic.twitter.com/3oYZgDIngj
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) December 8, 2017
At a news conference in Atlanta Friday, Nelson, joined by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, revealed that a handwriting expert had concluded the signature in Nelson’s yearbook is that of Moore.