If Herschel Walker and his team thought they could make the latest allegations against the Georgia Republican Senate nominee a one-day story that they could ignore while returning to a message about inflation and crime and big government, they were wrong.
Earlier this week, the Daily Beast (the source of many earlier reports about Walker’s unacknowledged background problems) published a report that a woman (who did not wish to be named) had evidence the former football legend and anti-abortion stalwart had encouraged and paid for an abortion in 2009 after impregnating her. Even as Walker denounced the story as a “flat-out lie” and was hit with a separate volley of criticism from his own son for being a fraud and a serial liar, the Beast was reporting the woman in question was also the mother of a child fathered by Walker that she carried to term. He denied that too.
Now, the New York Times has not only validated the identity of the woman in question and the stories about the abortion and subsequent live birth but has added an explosive new detail: that she says two years later, he urged her to terminate a second pregnancy — and that they broke up after she refused, and he has paid scant attention to their son since:
In a series of interviews, the woman said Mr. Walker had barely been involved in their now 10-year-old son’s life, offering little more than court-ordered child support and occasional gifts. The woman disclosed the new details about her relationship with Mr. Walker, who has anchored his campaign on an appeal to social conservatives as an unwavering opponent of abortion even in cases of rape and incest, after the former football star publicly denied that he knew her. He called her “some alleged woman” in a radio interview on Thursday.
While the Walker campaign might dismiss the series of earlier allegations as some sort of vendetta by the Daily Beast, the fresh reporting by the Times will be harder to ignore or denounce. And the cumulative picture we are getting of Walker is a bad look for a conservative Republican running on his heroic image and deeply religious character:
In an interview, a friend who lived in Atlanta at the time described consoling the woman through her morning sickness before her abortion and supporting her afterward. Years later, when the woman was pregnant again, she disclosed in phone and in-person conversations that Mr. Walker had asked her to end the pregnancy but she was adamant that she would not, according to the friend.
Mr. Walker also appears to have been involved with two other women around this time. In an interview in the December 2011 issue of Playboy magazine, he identified Julie Blanchard, who is now his wife, as his fiancée. And in January 2012, Myka Dean, then a shareholder along with her mother in Mr. Walker’s company Renaissance Man, according to financial records, filed a police report in Irving, Texas, in which she said that for 20 years she had been in an “on-off-on-off” relationship with Mr. Walker. (Ms. Dean, who died in 2019, told the police that Mr. Walker threatened her after she told him that she wanted to date other people. Mr. Walker denied the allegation through a spokeswoman in April.)
Perhaps Walker can deny responsibility for all this erratic and irresponsible behavior — and even for alleged complicity in at least one actual and another desired abortion — as a consequence of the dissociative identity disorder he wrote a book about being diagnosed with and overcoming. But the timing of the alleged behavior under discussion now is well into the period when he had supposedly been cured by treatment and “redeemed” by his religious faith. And if the Times and the Daily Beast are correct in their very specific reporting, he’s been lying about those incidents as well, just as his son has told us (“Everything has been a lie”).
The Walker campaign (which this very day fired its political director, reportedly for leaks to the media) hasn’t formulated its new position as of this writing. But it’s looking less and less likely that the candidate can just brazen it out with denials all the way to November 8. The troubled post-football political life of Herschel Walker is running into more trouble each day.