A former American football star and Republican senate candidate who has called for a total abortion ban paid for his ex-girlfriend to have a termination, it has been claimed.
Herschel Walker, a sporting legend in Georgia now running for the state’s critical senate seat, has taken an uncompromising stance on abortion, likening the procedure to “murder”.
Mr Walker has opposed exceptions for cases involving rape or incest, or where necessary to save the life of the mother – a hardline position at odds with the majority of anti-abortion conservatives.
Now, a former partner has come forward to accuse the Republican candidate of “hypocrisy” over the position, claiming Mr Walker urged her to have an abortion after he fathered a child in 2009. Mr Walker has called the claims a “flat-out lie”.
The woman has not been identified but supported her account to the Daily Beast with a $575 receipt from an abortion clinic for a procedure on Sept 12 2009.
She also produced proof of a $700 cheque from Mr Walker on Sept 17 2009 and a “get well” card from the Republican candidate.
She said the $125 discrepancy between Mr Walker’s payment and the cost of the abortion was accounted for by the travel expenses and recovery costs.
She told the outlet that Mr Walker told her it was “not the right time” for him to have a child, and she agreed.
She later discovered Mr Walker had fathered another child with another woman earlier that year.
“I just can’t with the hypocrisy any more,” she told the Daily Beast. “We all deserve better.”
The Daily Beast said it independently confirmed the woman’s claims with a close friend who cared for her after the procedure.
Mr Walker has flatly denied the claims and threatened to sue the news outlet.
“All you want to do is run with stories to target black conservatives,” Mr Walker’s lawyer, Robert Ingram, told the Daily Beast.
Mr Walker, who is backed by Donald Trump, is locked in a razor-tight race against incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first black senator.
Mr Walker enjoys legendary status in the Peach State after helping steer the University of Georgia to national success as a young prodigy. He went on to become a pro-football player.
But his repeated gaffes, including promoting a “dry mist” that would “kill any Covid on your body”, and his opponent Mr Warnock’s formidable fundraising, have made the senate race one of the tightest of the midterm elections.
Political pundits believe the race could be decisive in determining control of the US Senate, which is divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.
Abortion has become a central issue in races across the US after the country’s Supreme Court revoked the nationwide right to abortion. Dozens of US states have since enacted bans on the procedure.
The twice-married Mr Walker’s campaign has been repeatedly beset by scandals.
Cindy Grossman, who was married to the sports star for nearly 20 years, has claimed she was choked by Mr Walker, who she said held a gun to her head. “He was gonna blow my brains out,” she said.
Mr Walker has also been forced to acknowledge estranged children he fathered out of wedlock, after previously criticising absent fathers.
Ms Grossman and Mr Walker’s son, Christian Walker, criticised his father after it was claimed he had paid for a former lover’s abortion.
“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 tweeted.
“He decided to give us the middle finger and air out all of his dirty laundry in public, while simultaneously lying about it. I’m done.”
Mr Walker said of the abortion claims: “It is a flat-out lie, and now you know how important this seat is.”
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