Herschel Walker plays the victim over 'past mental health' issues in an attempt to erase scandals
Herschel Walker speaks to the Class of 2016 during Basic Cadet Training in the U.S. Air Force Academy's Jacks Valley in Colorado Springs. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The campaign of Georgia Republican U.S. Senate nominee Herschel Walker is resorting to a strategy often employed by his idol Donald Trump: When you have no defense, portray yourself as a victim.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed commentary carrying Walker’s byline today, the headline asks, “How Low Can Gutter Politics Go?” — with the subhead “Bill Kristol’s Republican Accountability Project tries to stigmatize me for my past mental illness.”

As reported this week at Raw Story, the ad “includes footage of Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker’s ex-wife graphically describing him choking her and threatening to kill her during their marriage.” Walker’s commentary called the ad “dishonest” without questioning the authenticity of the footage.

Instead, Walker sought sympathy. Here’s his self-pitying explanation in the Wall Street Journal piece.

“The ad is titled “The Real Herschel Walker,” but its producers are the ones hiding something: that I took accountability for my actions and got treatment, that she gave this interview because I asked her to, and that we did this and other interviews together. The ad makers took something designed to do good and turned it into something evil, which will harm innocent people.”

There’s much to question with the “I took accountability for my actions and got treatment” part of Walker’s story. As with his 2008 memoir “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder,” Walker attempts to place in the past tense a mental disorder which – assuming he has it – is viewed as manageable but not curable by health authorities such as the Cleveland Clinic.

There’s no evidence Walker has been cured, but there’s plenty of doubt that whatever challenges he had can now be placed conveniently in the rearview mirror. That was suggested by a May article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution headlined “Herschel Walker’s mental health battle raises questions about treatment.”

As AJC.com reported, “Walker’s campaign refused to answer questions about his current treatment or whether he still has symptoms.”

It also noted that, “Walker’s mental health story is complicated, interlaced with allegations of domestic violence and featuring a controversial therapist who has said a patient’s choice of crayon color can reveal whether he or she is gay or even possessed by demons.”

And there was this reporting in reference to Walker’s presumed multiple personalities, known as “alters.”

“Walker said in (a 2008) ABC interview that he had his alters under control. But in 2012 a Texas woman filed a police report accusing him of threatening to “blow her head off” and then kill himself if she broke up with him. Myka Dean said she was Walker’s longtime girlfriend, according to a January 2012 police report. No charges were filed against Walker, who has denied the claims.”

The report also cited pushback from an advocate for domestic-violence victims:

“Jan Christianson, executive director of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, called the allegations against Walker “deeply troubling.”

“Mental illness does not excuse his behavior,” she said. “You have to take accountability for your actions. You can’t hide behind a diagnosis.”

Walker’s past misconduct is quite consistent with a series of scandalous revelations – hardly attributable to mental illness – such as his having failed to acknowledge publicly his fatherhood of multiple children.

The Huffington Post reported in June that Walker “confirmed that he actually has four children, following revelations that the critic of absentee fathers has a 10-year-old son with whom he reportedly has limited contact.

“In addition to the 10-year-old, the aspiring Georgia senator has a 13-year-old son as well as an adult daughter who he had when he was around 20 years old, The Daily Beast first reported Thursday. He also has a 22-year-old son who he has previously publicly disclosed. This brings his total, publicly reported children to four.”

That reporting noted the hypocrisy of Walker having done all that while calling out absent dads.

“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.”

And, there was this: “The Daily Beast reported that the mother of his 10-year-old son had to sue Walker after giving birth in order to secure a declaration of paternity and child support from the former NFL player.”