Sen. Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia’s runoff held special significance for one group: women who had romantic relationships with opponent Herschel Walker and came forward with their stories of secret children, abortions, and abusive behavior.
To them, the voters’ decision was proof they made the right choice in breaking long-held silences and baring intimate details of their lives so the public would see the Herschel Walker they knew.
“I am extremely proud of the outcome of this runoff,” said Cheryl Parsa, who was in a five-year relationship with the former football star in the 2000s and alleges he habitually lied, cheated on her, and once violently attacked her.
“The great people of Georgia deserve better representation in the Senate than Herschel Walker, and today they have chosen better,” she said.
Another woman, who had an affair with Herschel from 1996 to 1998 and then reconnected with him a decade after that, said she found strength in the election outcome.
“Finally, this violent liar, cheater, adulterer, abuser and deranged, manipulative idiot has been defeated,” she told The Daily Beast. “As a victim of this disgusting liar, I finally feel relieved, vindicated, and not alone.”
Parsa is one of five women who told The Daily Beast about their relationships with Walker—resulting in stories that rocked the campaign and resulted in an election so tight it went to a runoff. The conversations began as early as July, with the women expressing concerns about coming forward – until Walker’s behavior, denials, and absolutist anti-abortion platform made them change their minds.
Walker had presented himself to voters as a model father taking a principled stand against absent dads; a deeply religious man who opposed abortion in all cases, and a loving husband who overcame mental illness.
That image began crumbling when The Daily Beast revealed on June 14 that Walker had a secret son fathered out of wedlock in addition to his adult son, Christian, a social media influencer who advised his campaign.
The child’s mother had to take Walker to court for child support, and he played no active role in raising the child,even though he had publicly proclaimed that if you have a child with someone “even if you have to leave that woman… you don’t leave the child.” Walker hasn’t seen that son—his youngest—since January 2016, the mother said.
It was only two days after that first report that The Daily Beast revealed that Walker had a second son he had not publicly acknowledged—a 13-year-old by a different woman. And in confirming his paternity, Walker then dropped another bombshell: He also had a grown daughter that almost no one knew about.
October brought news that appeared even more damaging to his reputation: The woman from the first secret-child story told The Daily Beast that Walker had paid for her to have an abortion about three years before their son was born.
She had literal receipts: a $575 bill from the abortion clinic, a “get well” card from Walker, and a bank image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker around the time of the abortion. The woman also told The Daily Beast that two years later, Walker urged her to terminate their second pregnancy, saying it still wasn’t “the right time” for him.
Walker repeatedly denied paying for the abortion—but another ex-lover would later come forward, after lawyering up with Gloria Allred, to say he had also pressured her to abort a pregnancy.
After Tuesday night’s result, the mother who spoke to The Daily Beast in October said the outcome was vindication.
“Georgia made their choice today. Herschel will not be their voice. Your votes matter. Your voice matters. When we as a country demand more of our leaders, we will be heard! ” she said.
Parsa decided she wanted to be heard after the November election ended with plans for a runoff. In a story published last week, she said that she was with Walker while he battled dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder.
She recounted a 2005 incident in which she caught Walker with another woman at his Dallas condo. She said he flew into a rage, put his hands on her chest and neck, and swung his fist at her. “I thought he was going to beat me,” she said.
She told The Daily Beast that she decided to go public because Walker had claimed that he no longer has the mental disorder, but she saw behavior on the campaign trail that reminded her of his flare-ups.
“He is not well,” she said then. “And I say that as someone who knows exactly what this looks like, because I have lived through it and seen what it does to him and to other people. He cannot be a senator. He cannot have control over a state when he has little to no control of his mind.”
On Tuesday night, Parsa said she believes her message got across.
“I am humbled by the strength of the women alongside me—those who came forward and those who have stood by in support—and I am proud of the people of Georgia for voting their conscience and making the right decision for women, for Georgia, and for our country,” she said.
“I hope this encourages women everywhere—to feel heard, to come forward, and to stand in their truth and power.”
The woman who had a romance with Walker in the ’90s echoed that theme.
“I feel such pride that 50+ percent of the voters that came out were women,” she said. “You know that if each and every woman that is legally eligible to vote would do so, we could change things, and this just shows that’s true.”
Yet another woman, who was involved with Walker in 2006, told The Daily Beast: “Having Herschel Walker lose this very important Senate race tonight not only vindicates that democracy has won but the women that he betrayed, have won.
“The truth has won and I hope Herschel finds a way to start telling the truth. However, I highly doubt he knows what the truth is anymore.”