(WASHINGTON) — Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker this week acknowledged he has three more children in addition to the son, Christian, he has publicly helped raise for the last 20 years.
Walker’s statements on the matter, issued via his campaign, come after a series of reports in The Daily Beast about his other kids — all of whom have remained out of the spotlight cast on their father, a businessman and college football legend in his home state.
Walker, who has talked about the importance of his being a dad to Christian, had not previously discussed his role as a parent to multiple children.
The issue of Walker’s involvement as a father has brought renewed focus to the fact that he has repeatedly touted the importance of being an active father and, in particular, has said “the fatherless home is a major, major problem” for Black people.
It is, however, unclear what role Walker has played in the life of his children beyond Christian, a budding conservative social media influencer whom he shares with his first wife.
In statements to ABC News, Walker pushed back on any criticism that his kids were kept out of view.
“I have four children. Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ – they’re my kids,” he said on Thursday. “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?”
He continued: “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.”
A court order obtained by ABC News shows Walker admitted in 2013 to being the youngest boy’s father after the boy’s mother filed a paternity petition that April.
In an initial statement on Wednesday, Walker’s campaign manager, Scott Paradise, insisted that the 10-year-old boy wasn’t being hidden.
“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,” Paradise said. “To suggest that Herschel is ‘hiding’ the child because he hasn’t used him in his political campaign is offensive and absurd.”
Paradise pointed to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s court fight with his ex-wife over their child custody arrangement. (Walker hopes to unseat Warnock in November.)
A spokeswoman for Warnock, Meredith Brasher, told ABC News on Wednesday he is a “devoted father who is proud to continue to co-parent his two children as he works for the people of Georgia.”
Walker, who easily won the Republican nomination in the state’s primary in May, has previously faced scrutiny about his personal life. That includes allegations of violent behavior and his diagnosis with dissociative identity disorder, or D.I.D., a complex mental health condition characterized by some severe and potentially debilitating symptoms.
Walker has denied some of the past allegations of domestic violence, physical threats and stalking; others he claimed not to remember.
His campaign previously referred ABC News to his 2008 memoir, which detailed his D.I.D. diagnosis, and a 2008 interview he did with ABC News in which he discussed its effects on his first marriage.
ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman, Pete Madden and Stephanie Lorenzo contributed to this report.
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