Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, who has spoken out publicly against children being raised in fatherless homes, has a young son who he has not previously recognized publicly, his campaign confirmed Wednesday following a report of this estranged relationship.
The former football star, who has received the endorsement of Donald Trump for his Georgia campaign, fathered the child “years ago when he wasn’t married,” campaign manager Scott Paradise said in a statement to HuffPost.
“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,” the statement said.
The confirmation follows a report Tuesday in The Daily Beast that the child’s mother, who has not been publicly identified, sued Walker after giving birth 10 years ago in order to secure a declaration of paternity and child support from the former NFL player.
Walker, who has a 22-year-old son whom he has publicly acknowledged, has not played an active parental role in this younger son’s life, though he sends him Christmas and birthday presents, The Daily Beast reported, citing a person close to the child’s family.
In a 2020 interview with conservative activist Charlie Kirk, Walker called fatherless homes a “major, major problem” in Black communities and described himself as acting “like a father” to fatherless kids in the Georgia town where he grew up.
“Remember, you can leave the wife, but don’t leave your child,” he said he advises young men he meets.
In another 2020 interview with conservative video bloggers Diamond and Silk, Walker disparaged Black fathers who leave boys to be raised by their mother. He likened this to when Black families were separated during slavery.
“Even if you have to leave that woman — you don’t leave that child,” he said.
Paradise called publicity about Walker’s younger son this week a “complete double standard” while lobbing barbs against the personal life of Walker’s political opponent, first-term Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). One recent poll shows Warnock and Walker evenly tied in their Senate race.
“Raphael Warnock is currently engaged in both a nasty mudslinging campaign and a nasty custody dispute with his ex-wife,” Paradise said.
Warnock is currently engaged in a child custody dispute with his ex-wife over their two children and her request for child support payments to be recalculated, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.
Warnock’s communications director, Meredith Brasher, countered in a statement Wednesday to HuffPost that Warnock is “a devoted father who is proud to continue to co-parent his two children as he works for the people of Georgia.”
News of Walker’s young son appears to be the latest instance of the aspiring politician saying one thing and doing another.
Earlier this week, the AJC reported that his claims of working his entire life in law enforcement, including with a Georgia police department and as an FBI agent, are false.