(CN) – Former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore claims in a state lawsuit Wednesday that he was defamed last year by a political action committee’s multi-million-dollar advertising campaign against him during a highly publicized special election in Alabama.
Moore, who was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, filed suit with his wife Kayla in Etowah County Circuit Court against Highway 31 Super PAC and other affiliated parties.
The lawsuit claims that the couple’s reputations were damaged by the widespread publication of false ads, which echoed accusations of sexual misconduct that arose against Moore during the campaign.
In addition to losing the special election to Democrat Doug Jones on Dec. 12, Moore claims that his “likelihood of holding a future political office has been damaged, thus decreasing his potential for future employment.”
According to the complaint, the defamatory ads included “Television and Digital Campaigns,” as well as radio and direct mailings.
“These advertisements were false, misleading and misrepresented statements and facts with the intent to mislead residents and misrepresent facts,” the complaint states.
One such ad included a claim that Moore had been banned from a shopping mall in Gadsden, Alabama, while he was the deputy district attorney. According to the complaint, the ad also falsely stated that Moore had been banned “for soliciting sex from young girls.”
From the complaint: “The ‘shopping mall’ ad ran hundreds of times on network TV in Alabama during the two weeks before the election. Yet, by Monday, November 21, the day the ad began running, defendants had information available to them and known to them that the mall ban story was fictitious.”
According to the complaint, Highway 31 received more than $3.1 million in contributions from another PAC referred to as the Senate Majority PAC. Highway 31 also reported more than $4.2 million in independent expenditures.
This is Moore’s second defamation lawsuit filed in the wake of his unsuccessful run for the Senate. He also filed suit in April against three women who accused him of sexual misconduct in the weeks prior to the election. That suit was also filed in Etowah County Circuit Court. Moore has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual misconduct.
In March, the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center also filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Highway 31 for misreporting certain contributions.
Prior to running for Senate, Moore served as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a position from which he was also twice removed – once for defying a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from a state judicial building and later for directing Alabama judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
The Moores are represented in the current case by Gadsden attorneys Trenton Garmon and Jeremy Richards of Garmon & Liddon and Montgomery attorney Melissa Isaak.
Other parties named in the suit are Longleaf Strategies, Bully Pulpit Interactive, Waterfront Strategies, Priorities USA, Adam Muhlendorf, Edward Still, Jim Margolis and Josh Schwerin.
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