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Jury awards Moore $8.2M in damages against Dem-aligned PAC

MONTGOMERY — Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was awarded $8.2 million in damages Friday after a federal jury found a Democratic-aligned super PAC defamed him in a TV ad.

After a brief trial in Anniston, the jury found the Democratic Senate Majority PAC funded a group called Highway 31 which ran a $4 million advertising blitz against Moore in his 2017 U.S. Senate campaign.

The jury said the ad made false and defamatory statements against Moore in attempting to highlight sexual misconduct accusations against the former judge. It was a victory for Moore who has lost other defamation lawsuits, including one against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

“We’re very thankful to God for an opportunity to help restore my reputation which was severely damaged by the 2017 election,” Moore said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

The lawsuit centered on one TV commercial that recounted accusations against Moore. His attorneys argued there was juxtaposition of statements in the ad that painted Moore in a false light and falsely made it look like he was soliciting sex from girls at a Gadsden mall.

Moore always denied the accusations of impropriety made against him, but it unquestionably contributed to his loss to Doug Jones, the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate in a quarter-century.

The Senate Majority PAC had argued the ad was substantially true and that there were widespread reports about Moore’s inappropriate behavior at the mall.

Ben Stafford, an attorney representing Senate Majority PAC, said in an emailed statement he believed the ruling would be overturned on appeal.

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