Herschel Walker denies abortion claim in Georgia Senate race

Former college football star and current senatorial candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally, as former U.S. President Donald Trump applauds, in Perry, Georgia, U.S. September 25, 2021.

Dustin Chambers | Reuters

Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for a Senate seat from Georgia who has called for a ban on abortion, was accused in a new report Monday night of paying for a woman’s abortion in 2009.

Walker adamantly denied the claim detailed in a Daily Beast article, calling it a “flat-out lie,” and vowed to sue the news outlet.

“It’s disgusting, gutter politics,” said the former college and pro football star, whose race is being closely watched because of the chance it could help Republicans regain majority control of the Senate.

But shortly after the online publication of that story, Walker’s adult son blasted him in a series of tweets, accusing him of violence and hypocrisy.

“I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us,” Christian Walker tweeted.

“You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.”

In another tweet Monday night, Christian wrote: “Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past. Every single one. He decided to give us the middle finger and air out all of his dirty laundry in public, while simultaneously lying about it.”

On Tuesday morning, Christian posted a video on Twitter in which he further excoriated his father, and criticized liberals for expecting him to have gone public earlier with his accusations against Herschel Walker.

“I’ve stayed silent for nearly two years as my whole life has been lied about publicly. I did ONE campaign event, then said I didn’t want involvement,” Christian wrote in a tweet above the video. “Don’t you dare test my authenticity. Here is the full story.”

Christian’s mother Cindy Grossman, Herschel Walker’s ex-wife, told CNN in 2008 that he had threatened to kill her.

“The first time he held the gun to my head … he held the gun to my temple and said he was going to blow my brains out,” Grossman said in that interview.

The double punch to Walker’s candidacy on Monday evening comes a month before the midterm elections, where he is seeking to unseat Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.

Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff won Georgia’s two Senate seats in election runoffs in early 2021, giving Democrats majority control of the Senate.

Walker’s candidacy has been backed by former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as part of an effort by Republicans to regain majority control.

The Daily Beast’s article quoted an unidentified woman who said that she became pregnant by Walker when they were dating in 2009, at a time when he was not married, and that he “urged her to get an abortion.”

“She supported these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a ‘get well’ card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker,” the Daily Beast reported.

The woman requested anonymity because of privacy concerns, according to the outlet, which said it corroborated details of her account with a friend whom she said accompanied her to the procedure.

The outlet reported the woman said she was telling her story because of Walker’s public stance as a GOP candidate on abortion, which he claims to oppose with no exceptions for rape or incest.

“I just can’t with the hypocrisy anymore,” she was quoted by the Daily Beast as saying. “We all deserve better.”

Last month, Walker said he supported proposed legislation by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would ban abortion nationally after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“I am a proud pro-life Christian, and I will always stand up for our unborn children,” Walker said in a statement at the time.

CNBC has not independently verified the woman’s account. CNBC has requested comment from Walker’s lawyer.

In a statement on Twitter denying the woman’s allegation, Walker wrote, “This is a flat-out lie — and I deny this in the strongest possible terms.”

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He accused Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger of being a “democrat activist disguised as a reporter who has obsessively attacked my family and tried to tear me down since this race started.”

Sollenberger in June broke the news that Walker had three other children with different women besides Christian, who up to that point was his only publicly known son. One of the children was a 10-year-old boy who Walker has not played an active role in raising, the Daily Beast reported in June.

Walker, who is Black, has been critical of African American absentee fathers.

“I’m not taking this anymore,” Walker wrote in his statement Monday. “I planning [sic] to sue the Daily Beast for this defamatory lie. It will be filed tomorrow morning.”

Walker appeared Monday night on Fox News for an interview with Sean Hannity, who asked him about the reported $700 payment to the woman who spoke to the Daily Beast.

“I send money to a lot of people,” Walker answered. “I never asked anyone to get an abortion, I never paid for an abortion.”

Daily Beast Political Editor Matt Fuller replied on Twitter, writing, “I can tell you we stand behind every word and feel very solid about the story.”

Christian Walker, in one of his tweets posted on the heels of the Daily Beast story, wrote about his father: “I don’t care about someone who has a bad past and takes accountability. But how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man.’ You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you.”

Herschel Walker then tweeted, “I LOVE my son no matter what.”

On Tuesday morning, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which has spent millions of dollars supporting Walker’s candidacy, told NBC News that it will continue backing him in the race despite the allegations.

“Democrats are losing in Georgia and are on the verge of losing the majority, so they and their media allies are doing what they always do — attack Republicans with innuendo and lies,” said Chris Hartline, the spokesman.

“Democrats and the media have tried to stir up nonsense about what has or hasn’t happened in Herschel Walker’s past because they want to distract from what’s happening in the present,” Hartline said. “Right now, Senator Warnock votes with Joe Biden 96% of the time, causing skyrocketing inflation, a raging border crisis, and crime in Georgia communities. Georgians can see through the nonsense from the Democrats and the media and will vote accordingly.”