More than 5,000 people have contributed money to help Tina Johnson, a woman who accused former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of groping her, after her Alabama home burned down last week.
A GoFundMe campaign for Johnson had raised nearly $180,000 as of Monday afternoon. Her home in Gadsden, Ala., caught fire Wednesday. The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office said the fire was being investigated as arson, and they have talked to a person of interest, though no charges have been filed.
Johnson is among several women who have accused Moore, who lost a bid for a Senate seat in a heated special election in December, of sexual misconduct. She told AL.com in November that Moore made inappropriate comments and groped her when she visited his law office in 1991. Johnson was 28, while Moore was 44 and married at that time.
The Washington Post was unable to reach Johnson on Monday morning, but she told the AL.com that she’s thankful to all who’ve donated.
“I just cannot give them the proper words. God is good,” she said.
Katie Jacobs Stanton, chief marketing officer of a San Francisco Bay area tech start-up, started the GoFundMe campaign on the same day news of the arson investigation broke. The campaign surpassed its goal of raising $100,000 in just two days.
Stanton, who’s also a former Obama administration staffer and Twitter media executive, said she does not know Johnson, but she believes the accusations she’s made against Moore. She also praised Johnson for sharing her story despite the danger and risks of coming forward about sexual harassment.
Investigators in Etowah County do not think the fire “is in any way related to Roy Moore or the allegations made against him,” the sheriff’s office said.
A GoFundMe spokeswoman verified that the funds raised from the campaign will be given to Johnson.
Stanton said on Facebook Friday that she has been in touch with Johnson, who is staying in a motel with her husband and 15-year-old grandson. She said the money will go toward helping Johnson rebuild her home, as well as with living expenses.
“She has insurance, but has been warned that the process will be long and complicated, given the role of arson,” Stanton wrote on Facebook. “Her family lost everything but thankful that no one was hurt.”
The fire, reported at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, destroyed all of Johnson’s and her family’s belongings, AL.com reported. Johnson told the website that investigators said the fire began at the back of the house.
Natalie Barton, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said Monday that there are no new updates on the investigation.
“The investigation is ongoing and as soon as warrants are obtained details will be released,” Barton said.
Allegations against Moore first surfaced in early November, when The Washington Post published a story about four women who have accused the former Republican Senate candidate of inappropriate sexual behavior. One of them, Leigh Corfman, said she was 14 when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. Wendy Miller told The Post she was 16 when Moore asked her to go out on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson said she was 17, and Gloria Thacker Deason said she was 18, when Moore took them out on dates.
During those times, Moore would’ve been an assistant district attorney in his 30s.
At least four more women, including Johnson, have since come forward.
Moore has strongly denied the allegations, which he called “completely false” and “malicious.” He also has denied knowing the women, though he told Sean Hannity that he knows Gibson and Deason, as well as their parents. He said he did not recall dating them.
Moore, who had been removed twice from his post as Alabama’s chief justice, lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election. Moore’s defeat marks the first time in 25 years that Alabama elected a Democratic senator.