(CN) – Roy Moore, the Republican candidate who lost the 2017 U.S. Senate special election in Alabama, filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court Friday against the creators of a series of political attack ads that targeted Moore during his run.
The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Alabama, alleges that several media firms and Super PACs, such as Bully Pulpit Interactive and the Majority Senate PAC, helped to design and distribute targeted political ads containing accusations of Moore “soliciting sex from young girls” and being a “child predator.”
The complaint specifically references an ad by the Highway 31 Super PAC, known as the “shopping mall ad” that ran on Alabama TV networks, which showcased a series of quotes regarding sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.
The complaint contends that these ads were completely baseless in facts and constructed solely to defame Moore and cripple his Senate candidacy.
“From beginning to end the shopping mall ad is a deliberately constructed maze of lies and deception. Defamation was not something that the powers behind Highway 31 accidentally or unintentionally stumbled into but was instead a weapon of choice consistently employed to annihilate a targeted political opponent,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit also makes allegations that Guy Cecil, Chairman of Priorities USA, one of the largest Democratic Super PACs in the country, made several false allegations against Roy Moore via Twitter and official press releases.
The complaint states that Guy Cecil directly accused Moore of being a “a sexually assaulting pedophile” and a “child molester” among other sexual misconduct allegations.
Moore disputes the allegations and said they were fundamentally false and unfounded.
“Cecil’s published statements were assertions of fact, not mere nonactionable opinion. Those statements, which are per se libelous, presented unproven allegations as fact even though Cecil had no way of verifying their truth or falsity,” according to the complaint.
Sexual misconduct allegations plagued Moore’s 2017 Senate campaign for much of its duration and served as a hotly debated media and public focal point in a race that garnered intense interest around the country. Moore lost the U.S. Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones.
Moore has since announced plans to run against Jones for the seat in 2020.
Representatives for Roy Moore did not immediately respond to requests for comment.