In September 2011, ESPN was rolling out its latest documentary about Herschel Walker — however the man of the hour wouldn’t be at the massive premiere because, he said, he had real work to do.
“I actually have to move back to Arkansas for a sales meeting at my chicken factory,” Walker told ESPN on the time. “I actually have a daily job. I actually have to return to work.”
Walker emphasized that there was way more to him than the star football player who won the Heisman Trophy on the University of Georgia and played within the NFL.
“They don’t know that I actually have this food service company; I actually have a drapery company and I supervise six hospitals around the USA,” he said.
But the explanation not many individuals find out about Walker supervising hospitals across the country is since it doesn’t appear that he ever did. It’s a part of a pattern by Walker where he embellishes his business record and misstates facts about his personal history.
Walker, who’s now running as a Republican Senate candidate in Georgia, has regularly talked about his interest in mental health and health care over time. In 2008, he wrote a book about living with dissociative identity disorder, which was once referred to as multiple personality disorder. And in the course of the current campaign, he again talked about his struggles with mental health after reports resurfaced about allegations of violence toward his ex-wife.
While promoting his book in 2008, there have been multiple news articles that said Walker was financing or helping to start out up a network of hospitals across the nation.
“Walker said he’s working with medical professionals to arrange a network of hospitals. University Behavioral Health in Denton, Texas, is the primary of those. One other is scheduled to open in El Paso, Texas, in May. Land in San Francisco has just been acquired for a 3rd hospital,” the Atlanta Journal-Structure reported in April 2008.
One other article within the Macon Telegraph in August 2008 reported that Walker “has opened three medical treatment centers in Texas and San Francisco.”
But there isn’t any evidence that Walker ever supervised or began hospitals or medical centers. His personal financial disclosure forms, which have already been amended multiple times, don’t indicate he ever owned or ran hospitals.
What there’s proof of is Walker serving as a spokesman for a corporation — which appears to be out of business — called AscendHealth Corporation. Walker’s 2021 personal financial disclosure indicates United Health Services, AscendHealth’s parent corporation, paid him $331,589. His 2022 disclosure doesn’t list any income, but says he worked for the corporate as a “Mental health awareness ambassador.”
On April 20, 2008, AscendHealth put out a press release touting the discharge of Walker’s latest book. Just a few months later, in August, the corporate called him a “spokesperson” for AscendHealth in one other statement.
Walker’s relationship with AscendHealth continued for years. In 2010, a press release further touted his role as a spokesman, saying the star football player had been “named the official spokesman for a special mental health outreach by University Behavioral Health of Denton, an Ascend Health Corporation mental health hospital.”
In a profile captured on 2014, Walker again touted his role as a spokesman for AscendHealth but added that he was “part owner of seven United Behavioral Health facilities situated across the country.”
AscendHealth opened its Denton facility in 2005 — three years before he told the Atlanta Journal-Structure that he was working to establish a network of hospitals, including in Denton. That very same yr, 2008, AscendHealth’s website listed 4 locations in Texas and one in Oregon.
Walker’s campaign didn’t return a request for comment clarifying his role within the medical industry. HuffPost also reached out to members of AscendHealth’s former leadership team, none of whom responded.
Walker has repeatedly misrepresented his accomplishments. He has talked about how he worked in law enforcement — but he didn’t. He has also claimed that he was an FBI agent, but in point of fact, he spent every week at an FBI school in Quantico, Virginia. Being an FBI agent also requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which he doesn’t have.
He has also inflated his business record, exaggerating the scale and success of his firms. Up to now, he has said that he had the “largest upholstery company in the USA” and commenced an organization “that became the biggest minority-owned food company in the USA.” Each statements are false. He also said he donated a few of the earnings from his food distribution company to charity, but there’s little proof that he did so.
But most damning have been the revelations about his personal life that undercut his insistence that he’s a Christian family man.
The allegations of violence toward his ex-wife have continued to return up. And in June, The Every day Beast reported that while Walker talked in regards to the importance of being father and role model to his son, he also had three other children he didn’t publicly discuss and with whom he was far less involved, despite his criticisms of absentee fathers within the Black community.
That image was further tarnished Monday, when The Every day Beast revealed that Walker once paid for a girl he impregnated to have an abortion. After the article got here out, Walker’s son, Christian, went on social media and ripped his father as a liar, hypocrite and violent man.
“You’re not a ‘family man’ if you left us to bang a bunch of girls, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running out of your violence,” he wrote.
“I don’t care about someone who has a nasty past and takes accountability,” he added. “But how DARE YOU LIE and act as if you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man.’ You’ve lived a lifetime of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you.”