Dunwoody, Ga. — Herschel Walker, who has strongly opposed abortion rights as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009, according to a new report released late Monday. The candidate called the accusation “an outright lie” and said he would sue.
The Daily Beast spoke to a woman who said Walker paid for her abortion while they were dating. The news outlet reviewed a receipt showing her payment of $575 for the procedure, along with a standby card from Walker and her bank statement records that showed an image of a $700 personal check from Walker dated five days after proof of abortion.
The woman said Walker encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy, saying it wasn’t the right time for a baby, The Daily Beast reported.
In a statement, Walker said he would file a lawsuit against the news outlet Tuesday morning.
“This is an outright lie – and I deny it in the strongest possible terms,” he wrote.
Matt Fuller, the political editor of The Daily Beast, tweeted in response: “I can tell you that we stand behind every word and feel very strongly about the story.”
The reporter who wrote the story, Roger Sollenberger, tweeted: “The woman, in response to Herschel Walker’s claim that our story that he paid for her abortion is a ‘plain lie’: ‘Definitely not a lie!'” .
On Monday night, Walker appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, where Walker was asked if he remembered sending a $700 check to a girlfriend.
“Well, I sent money to a lot of people,” he said. “I give money to people all the time because I always help people. I believe in being generous. God has blessed me. I want to bless others.”
The allegation against Walker is the latest in a series of stories about the football legend’s past that have rocked his campaign as a first-time candidate in one of the nation’s most competitive Senate races. Earlier this year, Walker acknowledged reports that he had three children that he had not previously spoken about publicly.
Walker has often boasted about his work helping service members and veterans struggling with mental health. But the Associated Press reported in May that various records showed he overstated his role in a profit-making scheme that allegedly preyed on veterans and service members while defrauding the government.
The AP also reported that a review of public records detailed allegations that Walker repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, made exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business associates with erratic behavior. Walker himself has occasionally discussed his long struggle with mental illness.
On Monday night, his son, Christian, tweeted“I know my mom and I would really appreciate it if my dad Herschel Walker would stop lying and making fun of us. You are not a ‘family man’ when you let us out – bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and made us move 6 times within 6 months of your violence.”
As a Senate candidate, Walker has supported a national ban on abortion with no exceptions for cases involving rape, incest or when a woman’s health is at risk — particularly notable at a time when Roe v. Wade has been overturned by the Supreme Court and Democrats in Congress are debating codifying abortion rights into federal law.
“I’m for life,” Walker has said repeatedly as he campaigns. When asked if he would allow exceptions, he said there are “no excuses” for the process.
As the Republican nominee, Walker has sidestepped many questions about his past support for a national abortion ban, instead trying to turn the issue against his Democratic opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, who supports abortion rights. Walker often describes abortion as “a woman killing her baby” and says he doesn’t understand how Warnock, a Baptist pastor, can argue the procedure is legal.
Campaigning in Dunwoody, a suburb of Atlanta, on Monday night, Warnock emphasized his support for abortion rights.
“I have a deep respect for life. I have a deep and abiding respect for choice. I believe that a patient’s room is a very small and confined space for a woman, her doctor and the United States government,” he said, emphasizing his support Walker for a national ban.
Warnock was dismissive when told the story to The Daily Beast and when asked if it could influence the result in Georgia. “I’ll let the experts decide,” he said.