Herschel Walker calls report he paid for abortion 'flat-out lie' and a 'hatchet job'

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally in Athens, Ga., in May 2022.

Former NFL player Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee in Georgia’s Senate race, vehemently denied a news report that he paid for an abortion over a decade ago.

Walker, a pro-life leaning conservative, said late Monday night that a story by The Daily Beast news outlet reporting he paid a woman for an abortion in 2009 was a "flat-out lie" and a "hatchet job." The news outlet cited a woman who requested anonymity and showed the outlet a $575 receipt from an abortion clinic, as well as an apparent get-well card from Walker with a signed personal check for $700 in it. USA TODAY did not separately verify The Daily Beast's report.

"This is a flat-out lie – and I deny this in the strongest possible terms," Walker said in a statement posted to Twitter. "This is another repugnant hatchet job from a democrat activist disguised as a reporter who has obsessively attacked my family and tried to tear me down since this race started. (The reporter has) harassed friends of mine, asking if I fathered their children. He's called my children 'secret' because I didn't want to use them as campaign props.

"Now, they’re using an anonymous source to further slander me. They will do anything to hold onto power. It’s disgusting, gutter politics."

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Walker has regularly opposed abortion rights, supporting a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks and is not in favor of exceptions for rape or incest, noting there are "no exceptions in my mind."

The former University of Georgia football star is set to face off with Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in one of the country's most competitive Senate races.

Walker has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who came to Walker's defense in response to The Daily Beast's report.

"Herschel has properly denied the charges against him, and I have no doubt he is correct," Trump said in a Truth Social post that again endorsed Walker in Georgia's upcoming U.S. Senate race.

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Walker has four known children. He had his 19-year-old son, Christian, with his ex-wife, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, whom he was married to from 1983 to 2002. Christian Walker asked his father to stop "lying" in a tweet shortly after The Daily Beast story surfaced.

National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said Tuesday that the organization is standing by Walker.

"When the Democrats are losing as they are right now, they lie and cheat and smear their opponents. They know they are on the verge of losing the Senate, and they know that Herschel Walker is winning so they have cranked up the smear machine," Scott said in a statement.

Contributing: Merdie Nzanga, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Herschel Walker calls report he paid for abortion a 'flat-out lie'