Local News

Barbecue Chain Exec Denies Advances to Ex-Employee

Posted September 28, 2007

— The chief executive of the Smithfield's Chicken 'n Bar-B-Q chain on Friday denied making sexual advances to a former male employee.

Jason Hallaman sued Gregory Moore three years ago for sexual harassment, alleging he was fired as Moore's personal assistant in 2002 after he rebuffed several advances from Moore.

After a week of testimony in which Hallaman and four other former employees said they were fired after they rejected Moore's overtures, including suggestive comments, unwanted physical contact and surprise appearances in the nude, Moore took the witness stand Friday morning to defend himself.

Moore tearfully acknowledged to jurors Friday that he is bisexual, but he denied the allegations of wrongdoing.

"I did not touch him in any kind of inappropriate way," he testified.

One of Hallaman's allegations was that Moore climbed into the shower with him during a stay at Moore's beach house.

"It didn't happen," he said, repeatedly apologizing to jurors about the graphic nature of his testimony.

"This is a lot of personal stuff. (It's) in my personal home, and you're talking about someone's personal body parts and things like this. I'm sorry," he said.

Defense attorneys have said Hallaman was fired because of poor job performance and because he had signed Moore's name to a check for auto detailing services.

Moore testified Friday that he confronted Hallaman about the check when they were driving back from the beach house. Hallaman began to drive erratically, he testified, adding that he decided not to argue about the issue because he feared for his and his daughter's lives.

After he fired Hallaman, he said, the former aide made it clear what he was after.

"He called me saying that, if I didn't give him $1 million, he would expose me," Moore testified. "He was going to tell everybody that I was gay, expose all the issues with my divorce and ruin me and my business."

On Wednesday and Thursday, the defense called several witnesses, including one of Moore's daughters, to chip away at the credibility of Hallaman and the other former employees.

The trial is expected to continue Monday, when Moore will likely be questioned by Hallaman's attorney.


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  • lizard Sep 29, 2007

    This guy's poor choices in life are already well known in the community. No one that worked for him 5 minutes would think that any money could be made from threatening exposure.

    Pay up Moore!

  • ifcdirector Sep 29, 2007

    It's amazing how they came back for more time and again isn't it? If I were there I would be afraid of what that said about their own sexuality. I think this man is being blackmailed pure and simple. No one would stick around for the kind of behavior they are asserting let alone come back again for more.

  • NCGal Sep 28, 2007

    I agree atozca. He reminds me of Susan Smith. Where there's this much smoke, chances are there's fire.

    I think having his own daughter testify that she didn't see anything or hear creaking floorboards is a sympathy ploy. I feel sorry for her.

  • msncdso Sep 28, 2007

    When unwanted and unsavory advances began the first day on the job or any other time, why would any sensible adult continue to be alone with any such a person, much less make trips with them to their beach house?

  • Brogden Sep 28, 2007

    What happened to the sentance in this story that was there until several hours ago that said a former Moore attorney
    testified today that Hallaman contacted him after he was fired
    and asked him to help get his job back? That was an important statement. After all, why would you want the job back if you were been "harassed"? Wonder why WRAL took that sentance out of the story?

  • likemenow Sep 28, 2007

    and this from the guy who smokes pork for a living?...sure he's innocent...and sure the guys aren't out for the money...he should sure them for extortion..

  • jynski Sep 28, 2007

    I hate that this is happening. Probably another disgruntled employee. But they sure do have good food at reasonable prices.

  • USN Vet Sep 28, 2007

    Well gee whiz folks what did you expect him to say? Of course he is going to deny it. Another worthless WRAL story.

  • Trivr Sep 28, 2007

    I find it difficult to take sides in this case. The accusers have the money and possible bitterness over the firing. And on the other side, you have the likelihood of something happening when a bi-sexual man takes men to his beachhouse. Five people saying similar things.

  • ranquick Sep 28, 2007

    "I'm not saying that this man is guilty but something like 5 men have testified that he made advances at them... at some point, we have to realize that the common denominator is him, everyone else can't just be liars."
    So you are saying Moore is a liar also...

    The thought of making a quick buck has power over many!