The developments threaten to upend the race between Walker and US Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat who is running for a full six-year term after winning a special election in a 2021 runoff.
Warnock’s victory helped flip control of the Senate, and this year’s race could once again determine which party controls the chamber.
Monday’s developments unfolded rapidly after The Daily Beast reported that the woman, who asked the outlet not to be identified because of privacy concerns, became pregnant with Walker’s child. The outlet reported that Walker, who wasn’t married at the time, urged her to get an abortion and reimbursed her for the procedure.
Walker didn’t comment directly on his son’s remarks, but instead issued a simple one-line tweet: “I LOVE my son no matter what.” He also lashed out at the Daily Beast’s report, which contradicts his stated support for a “total ban” on abortion ..
“I’m not taking this anymore,” Walker said in a tweet, adding that he’s “planning to sue the Daily Beast for this defensive lie. It will be filed tomorrow morning.”
Walker’s attorney, Robert Ingram, said the report was designed to “take focus away from the real issues of inflation, high crime, excessive government spending and foreign policy disasters by the Biden Administration.” He added that “those who falsely accuse Herschel Walker in the media will be held accountable.”
The Daily Beast reported that the woman provided a copy of a signed $700 personal check from Walker, a “get well” card sent to the woman by Walker and a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic. The outlet published a photo of the “get well” card, which it said included Walker’s signature.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has verified the Daily Beast’s report. The Daily Beast said that it independently corroborated details of the woman’s claims with a close friend she told at the time and who also took care of her in the days after the procedure.
In a statement late Monday after Walker threatened a lawsuit, the Daily Beast said: “We stand by the story 100 percent.”
In his appearance on FOX Monday night, Walker again denied the voice and said his political opponents “want this seat.”
“They think they can threaten me. They think they can scare me. Right now all they’ve done is they’ve energized me more,” he said.
The debate over abortion is one of the sharpest divides in race between Walker and Warnock, a Democrat who is an outspoken supporter of abortion rights.
Walker has backed a ban on the procedure even in the case of rape or incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.
Warnock, the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, routinely calls the US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade a “tragedy.”
The Daily Beast’s report was published as Warnock was speaking to a joint meeting of the Jewish Democratic Council of America and the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon, where he drew an ovation stressing his support for abortion rights.
Asked about the report following the campaign event, Warnock told The AJC he was focused on his policy stance.
“I’ll let the pundits decide how they think it will impact the race,” Warnock said of the report. “But I have been consistent in my view that a patient’s room is too narrow and cramped for space for a woman and the government. My view on that has not changed.”
Christian Walker is the son of Cindy Grossman, an ex-wife of Walker who has accused the Republican of threatening to choke and shoot her. She obtained a restraining order against him in 2005 after he allegedly threatened to kill her and her then-boyfriend.
“He held the gun to my temple and said he was gonna blow my brains out,” Grossman said in a CNN interview in 2008.
Walker has attributed the abusive relationship to his struggles with mental health, but he has dodged questions on the campaign trail about his history.
Christian Walker, who boasts hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, had been mostly silent on his father’s campaign until the Daily Beast’s report. In one tweet, he accused his father of hypocrisy.
“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,”’ he wrote. “You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives.”
Walker already struggles with fallout from a range of controversial statements, campaign blunders and flat-out falsehoods in the closely watched race.
Among them: Walker has falsely claimed that he worked in law enforcement, asserted that he graduated from college when he did not, exaggerated his business record and made bizarre statements promoting a phony coronavirus cure and questioning the science that underpins the theory of evolution.
Warnock’s campaign has tried to make sure those falsehoods and misstatements come back to haunt him, including airing ads that replays Walker’s claim in 2020 that he had a mist that would “kill any COVID on your body, EPA-FDA approved.”
More recently, Warnock has also aired TV and radio commercials featuring footage of Grossman describing Walker physically assaulting her and holding a gun to her head.
The Daily Beast earlier reported that Walker wasn’t forthright about the number of children he fathered, leading to days of revelations about previously unacknowledged children that undercut his criticism of absentee dads. The AJC corroborated the report, though Walker’s top aid at the time called it “pure gossip.”
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