The campaign of Herschel Walker publicly acknowledged this week that the Republican Senate candidate has three children by women he was not married to in addition to his son by his former wife.
The Georgia GOP nominee’s admissions follow a Tuesday report in the Daily Beast that Walker fathered a son more than a decade ago. The Beast reported it had confirmed the identity of the boy and the mother, and that the mother had sued Walker in order to obtain a declaration of paternity and child support. According to the report, Walker was ordered to pay child support starting in 2014.
And after the initial story, the Daily Beast published a new article on Thursday reporting that Walker has two more children who were previously unknown to the public, including a 13-year-old son by one woman and an adult daughter who was born to another woman while Walker was still in college.
Walker, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in one of the country’s key Senate races this year, speaks frequently about Christian Walker, the son he and his ex-wife had together and raised along with Walker’s current wife.
Walker has publicly criticized absentee fathers, particularly in Black families.
“And I want to apologize to the African American community, because the fatherless home is a major, major problem,” Walker told conservative activist Charlie Kirk in a 2020 interview. In another interview that year with conservative media personalities Diamond and Silk, Walker said that men who have “a child with a woman, even if you have to leave that woman … you don’t leave the child.”
When asked for confirmation of the Daily Beast’s first report, the Walker campaign provided CNN with a statement from campaign manager Scott Paradise.
“Herschel had a child years ago when he wasn’t married. He’s supported the child and continues to do so. He’s proud of his children. To suggest that Herschel is ‘hiding’ the child because he hasn’t used him in his political campaign is offensive and absurd,” said Paradise.
And when asked about the existence of his third son and his daughter, the campaign provided CNN with a statement attributed to Walker himself.
“I have four children. Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ - they’re my kids. I support them all and love them all. I’ve never denied my children, I confirmed this when I was appointed to the President’s Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition, I just chose not to use them as props to win a political campaign. What parent would want their child involved in garbage, gutter politics like this?” Walker said. “Saying I hide my children because I don’t discuss them with reporters to win a campaign? That’s outrageous. I can take the heat, that’s politics - but leave my kids alone.”
CNN has obtained a copy of a 2018 confidential disclosure form signed by Walker and submitted when he was nominated to join the presidential council. On the form, Walker listed four children.
Since entering the political arena – with the enthusiastic backing of former President Donald Trump – Walker has faced several questions about his account of his own life and experience.
In one case, he claimed for years to have graduated from the University of Georgia in the top 1% of his class and included the detail on his campaign website. But CNN’s KFile confirmed The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s April report that Walker did not graduate from UGA, the school where he became a football star and left early to play professionally. The claim that he graduated at the top of his class was scrubbed from his campaign website a few months earlier, along with a claim that he was the valedictorian of his high school (which has been replaced by a claim he was at the “top of his class” in high school).
Last month, Walker even falsely claimed that he had not made the false claim about graduating from UGA.
The Georgia US Senate seat is a top target for Republicans this fall; Warnock won it in a 2021 runoff, two months after President Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
In its statement, Walker’s campaign also raised the issue of Warnock’s child support dispute with his ex-wife, who is suing to change the conditions of Warnock’s payments.
This story and headline have been updated for additional developments.