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Roy Moore’s Friend Tells Bizarre Brothel Story to Defend Candidate Ahead of Election

On Tuesday, Alabamians will vote on who will replace Senator Jeff Sessions in a highly-anticipated special election. Voters will be deciding between Democrat Doug Jones and the headline-grabbing Republican Roy Moore.

While Moore has been in the spotlight in recent weeks following reports that he pursued relationships with underage women—claims he denies—the candidate has spent the days leading up to the election working to soften his image.

On Monday night, Moore held a final campaign rally. During the event, his wife Kayla sought to dispel accusations of anti-semitism, saying that she wanted to “set the record straight,” telling the crowd that one of the family’s attorneys is a Jew. She also denied that her husband is racist, claiming that he “appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama supreme court.”

Read: Write-In Candidate on Out-Campaigning Roy Moore: “Hold My Beer”

And in a somewhat odd attempt to call into question the claims of sexual misconduct, Bill Stahle, a friend of Moore’s, shared an anecdote from their time serving together in Vietnam. He recounted that a comrade took them to a “private club,” which turned out to be a brothel. And while Stahle notes that “there were certainly pretty girls,” some of whom were “very young,” he claims that Moore was shocked and said, “We shouldn’t be here, I’m leaving.” Moore reportedly left immediately.

 Roy Moore and wife Kayla appear on stage at campaign rally with American flag backdrop
Moore with wife Kayla appeared at the rally on Monday.Joe Raedle Getty Images
Joe Raedle—Getty Images

“That was Roy,” Stahle said. “Honorable. Disciplined. Morally straight and highly principled.”

Moore’s candidacy has been marked by controversy even beyond the claims of inappropriate relationships. In September, the former Alabama supreme court chief justice who was twice removed from his post for violating judicial ethics, reportedly told a rally crowd that the last time America was great was “when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another.” CNN on Monday also uncovered a 2011 radio interview, during which Moore told the hosts that voiding all amendments after the 10th would “eliminate many problems.” (The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 15th prohibited denying citizens the right to vote based on race, and the 19th gave women the right to vote.)

Read: Poll: More Voters Believe Trump’s Accusers Over Roy Moore’s Ahead of Alabama Senate Race

The series of allegations against Moore have led many Republicans to withhold support for the candidate. Even Richard Selby, Alabama’s other senator and a Republican, has said he will not be voting for Moore and has urged voters to write in another Republican. President Donald Trump, however, is an exception. He has endorsed Moore’s candidacy and recorded robocall messages for him.

Moore’s opponent Jones is best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klan members over the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls. He has received support from former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, among others.