The woman, who said she paid for Georgia Senate hopeful Herschel Walker’s 2009 abortion and sparked a controversy that rocked her campaign, told The New York Times that she wanted the Republican candidate to terminate a second pregnancy two years later.
He refused the request and their relationship ended, telling the Times that the woman’s name was withheld. Walker was not married at the time. Their son, she said, is now 10 years old.
Saying that he supports the abortion ban without exception in May, Walker denied an earlier report of The Daily Beast.
Speaking to the Times, the woman said she decided to come forward with new details about her relationship with Walker after her Republican allies rallied around her after the initial report.
The Times said her interviews with the woman and documents provided to the newspaper “together confirm and expand upon an abortion-related statement first published in The Daily Beast on Monday. The Times also independently verified details about the custody records filed with family court in New York and interviewed a friend of the woman who described her abortion and eventual separation from Mr Walker when these events occurred.”
CNN has not independently confirmed the woman’s claim about the abortion or that Walker had asked her to terminate the second pregnancy.
CNN reached out to the Walker campaign for comment. The Times left a message for Walker’s spokesperson and campaign manager Friday afternoon.
Walker vehemently dismissed the original report in the Daily Beast that she was being paid for abortions “in the strongest words possible”, saying it was an “outright lie”.
The Georgia race between Walker and Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock is among the most competitive Senate contests on the 2022 midterm list and could be instrumental in deciding the control of the equally divided room. Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Walker won the GOP nomination in May, despite some Republicans’ concerns about past allegations that he threatened women with violence. Walker has denied at least one of these allegations and has spoken publicly and written about her struggles with mental illness.
With the stakes this high, Republican groups have vowed not to abandon Walker, even though the scandal upset his campaign. Campaign manager Scott Paradise addressed staff earlier this week, admitting that the initial Daily Beast report was a setback, but pointed to Trump’s victory in 2016, despite the initial backlash to the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape he roughly mentioned. groping women – as proof that Walker is a viable candidate.
Earlier this week, Warnock mostly refused to weigh in on the claim, avoiding asking a question about its possible consequences.
“I’ll let the experts decide how they think it will affect the race,” the senator said, before returning to his broader message on abortion rights. “But I have been consistent in my view that a patient’s room is too narrow and cramped for a woman, her doctor, and the government. … My opponent is talking about a nationwide ban without exception.”
The Times reported, like The Daily Beast, that Walker gave the woman a check for $700 for the procedure performed at an Atlanta clinic. According to both outlets, Walker then also sent the woman a “get well” card.
Earlier on Friday, Walker broke up with campaign political director Taylor Crowe on suspicion of leaking information to the media, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. Crowe did not respond to multiple requests for comment from CNN. It’s unclear whether other factors were at play or if the move had any connection to the abortion allegations.
Although Walker’s campaign otherwise remained intact and his support from national Republicans remained in place, one of his own sons, Christian Walker, a conservative 23-year-old social media phenomenon, turned his back on him.
“Every family member of Herschel Walker wanted him not to run for office, as we all know (some of) his background. Each one. Shortly after the Daily Beast report was published on Monday, Christian Walker decided to show his middle finger and publicly blow up all of his dirty laundry, the first in a series of articles blaming his father. . “I finished.”
“He’s a great little guy,” Walker said at his grown son’s press conference on Thursday. I love him to death. And you know what my son says, I will always love him.”
Christian Walker did not respond to an email and social media messages from CNN seeking comment about his criticism of his father.
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