Herschel Walker Urged Woman To Have A 2Nd Abortion She Says

ATLANTA — A woman who has said Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia, paid for her abortion in 2009 told The New York Times that he urged her to terminate a second pregnancy two years later. They ended their relationship after she refused.

In a series of interviews, the woman said Mr. Walker had barely been involved in their now 10-year-old son’s life, offering little more than court-ordered child support and occasional gifts.

The woman disclosed the new details about her relationship with Mr. Walker, who has anchored his campaign on an appeal to social conservatives as an unwavering opponent of abortion even in cases of rape and incest, after the former football star publicly denied that he knew her. He called her “some alleged woman” in a radio interview on Thursday.

The Times is withholding the name of the woman, who insisted on anonymity to protect her son.

In the interviews, she described the frustration of watching Republicans rally around Mr. Walker, dismiss her account and bathe him in prayer and praise, calling him a good man.

She said she wanted Georgia voters to know what kind of man Mr. Walker was to her.

“As a father, he’s done nothing. He does exactly what the courts say, and that’s it,” she said. “He has to be held responsible, just like the rest of us. And if you’re going to run for office, you need to own your life.”

The interviews and documents provided to The Times together corroborate and expand upon an account about her abortion first published on Monday in The Daily Beast. The Times also independently confirmed details with custody records filed in family court in New York and interviewed a friend of the woman to whom she had described the abortion and her eventual breakup with Mr. Walker as those events occurred.

Repeated messages left Friday afternoon with Mr. Walker’s spokesman and campaign manager were not returned.

The woman reaffirmed the key details of her account: She and Mr. Walker conceived a child in 2009 and decided not to continue the pregnancy. Mr. Walker was not married at the time. She provided to The Times a $575 receipt she was given after paying for the procedure at an Atlanta women’s clinic, and a deposit slip showing a copy of a $700 check that she said Mr. Walker gave her as reimbursement. She also shared a “get well” card with a handwritten message — “Pray you are feeling better” — and signed simply, “H.”

Mr. Walker has repeatedly denied her account, calling it a “flat-out” lie and the work of Democrats and the hostile news media. He has disputed that he signed the card. He told Fox News on Monday that he sends money “to a lot of people.”

“I know this is untrue. I know it’s untrue,” Mr. Walker said on the “Hugh Hewitt Show” on Thursday. “I know nothing about any woman having an abortion.”

Later on Thursday, he gathered reporters in a lumber yard 150 miles east of Atlanta for his first public event since the report first surfaced and read a statement that did not directly address it. Instead, he blamed his political opponents.

“You’re here because Democrats are desperate to hold onto power,” he said. “They are desperate to make this race about my family.”

Mr. Walker is running against Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, in what is one of the year’s most expensive and competitive races as Republicans try to win control of the Senate.

Mr. Walker and his former girlfriend started their relationship around November 2008, according to her paternity suit. She said they first met in Atlanta, where she lived and Mr. Walker regularly visited. She would occasionally travel to the Dallas area, Mr. Walker’s home at the time.

The next year, when they conceived a child, the couple agreed that she should end the pregnancy, she said. Mr. Walker never expressed any moral or religious concerns about abortion, she said. He told her that it was “not a good time” for a baby.

The two continued their relationship and, two years later, the woman became pregnant again. This time, she said, she told Mr. Walker she wanted to have the child. But Mr. Walker did not, and again made the case that the time was not right. The relationship ended on Sept. 16, 2011, according to her paternity suit. Her son was born the following May.

In an interview, a friend who lived in Atlanta at the time described consoling the woman through her morning sickness before her abortion and supporting her afterward. Years later, when the woman was pregnant again, she disclosed in phone and in-person conversations that Mr. Walker had asked her to end the pregnancy but she was adamant that she would not, according to the friend.

Mr. Walker also appears to have been involved with two other women around this time. In an interview in the December 2011 issue of Playboy magazine, he identified Julie Blanchard, who is now his wife, as his fiancée. And in January 2012, Myka Dean, then a shareholder along with her mother in Mr. Walker’s company Renaissance Man, according to financial records, filed a police report in Irving, Texas, in which she said that for 20 years she had been in an “on-off-on-off” relationship with Mr. Walker. (Ms. Dean, who died in 2019, told the police that Mr. Walker threatened her after she told him that she wanted to date other people. Mr. Walker denied the allegation through a spokeswoman in April.)

The woman interviewed by The Times said Mr. Walker never physically abused her.

In April 2013, the woman filed for child support in Manhattan when she was a graduate student at Columbia University and “struggling to make ends meet,” according to a statement from her lawyer at the time. Mr. Walker was initially ordered to make payments, first of $2,500 a month and later of $3,500 a month. The final order of child support was not issued until July 2014, according to court records. Mr. Walker has made his payments on time, the woman said.

Mr. Warnock has also been involved in a child custody dispute. His ex-wife sued in April to adjust the terms of their agreement and increase payments to account for the income he earns as a senator and as lead pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. A spokeswoman for the Warnock campaign declined to comment for this article.

The woman said Mr. Walker hardly knew his 10-year-old son — she said he had “maybe only seen him three times” — and had not spoken to her in years. She said she and Mr. Walker communicated only through Ms. Blanchard, who the woman said sometimes called her to ask her son’s size before sending gifts.

“And by ‘he,’ I mean ‘she’ sends him Christmas presents, birthday presents,” the woman said.

A Democrat, the woman said she had struggled to watch Mr. Walker campaign on public positions so clearly at odds with his private conduct.

Mr. Walker has said he supports abortion bans with no exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

“The fact that I had a choice — now he’s in the public trying to say he wants to put a ban on abortion completely,” the woman said, adding, “It appalled me.”

Mr. Walker also has assailed “absentee fathers,” particularly in the Black community. But the woman said Mr. Walker himself had been so uninvolved in her son’s life that his absence was a running joke between her and her family and friends.

The woman said she was given no advance notice about Mr. Walker’s Senate candidacy and was shocked when she learned he had entered the race.

Mr. Walker’s personal life has been a source of turmoil in his campaign. He talked often about a 22-year-old son, Christian Walker, in early campaign materials and appearances, but later acknowledged three more children he had not publicly mentioned, including the 10-year-old son, an adult daughter and another young son. (Christian Walker, a conservative social media star in his own right, began openly attacking his father after The Daily Beast’s report was published, accusing him and his Republican allies of hypocrisy.)

Mr. Walker disputed that he had not acknowledged his children. “I just chose not to use them as props to win a political campaign,” he said in a statement in June. “What parent would want their child involved in garbage, gutter politics like this?”

When those reports first appeared in June, the woman said, Ms. Blanchard asked her to publicly vouch for Mr. Walker’s on-time child support payments in an effort to make the case that Mr. Walker was a responsible father. The woman said she declined.

Maya King reported from Atlanta; Lisa Lerer and Jonah E. Bromwich reported from New York. Ken Bensinger and Alexandra Berzon contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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