An advertisement featuring footage of Herschel Walker's ex-wife discussing his alleged threat to kill her garnered national attention Monday—less than three months before the Republican former professional football player will face off against Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia.
The ad features Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, who filed for divorce from Walker in 2001. According to HuffPost, the footage is from an interview Grossman gave after the 2008 publication of Walker's book, Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
"His eyes would become very evil," Grossman said of Walker. "The guns and knives. I got into a few choking things with him. The first time he held the gun to my head, he held the gun to my temple and said he was gonna blow my brains out."
The political action committee behind the new ad, Republican Accountability PAC (RAPAC), is run by party members and conservatives who say they "are fighting back against" former President Donald Trump's "takeover of the GOP."
RAPAC treasurer Sarah Longwell said in a statement Monday that "Herschel Walker might have been a great football player, but he clearly doesn't deserve to be a senator."
"That's why our campaign is built around the voices of Georgia Republicans who know that he's unfit for office," Longwell added of the Trump-endorsed candidate.
The Hill reported Monday that RAPAC's "ad campaign was part of a $10 million initiative to 'defeat anti-democracy Republicans in key battleground states,' which will also target Pennsylvania governor candidate Doug Mastriano," another Trump-backed Republican.
Addressing his ex-wife's domestic violence allegations in December, Walker told Axios that "I'm always accountable to whatever I've ever done. And that's what I tell people: I'm accountable to it."
The candidate added that he considers himself "best friends" with Grossman now.
Walker also discussed his mental health—which has been a major focus of his candidacy.
"Don't be ashamed to address your issues," he said. "For a man, it's very tough. For an African-American man, it's even harder. But you know, I want people to see that. And that's one of the major reasons I decided to run."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted in May 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."
While the candidate declined the newspaper's interview request, the report draws from his book about living with dissociative identity disorder (DID), in which "Walker said he had 12 alternate personalities—or alters—including the warrior (who played football), the sentry (who avoided emotional attachments), and the thrill seeker (who played Russian roulette with a loaded gun)."
The Journal-Constitution reported that "experts say that DID is complicated, often requiring years of therapy. Sometimes even after patients have learned to manage the condition they must still seek out help at various points in their lives. Walker's campaign refused to answer questions about his current treatment or whether he still has symptoms."
Walker's run for Senate has been plagued with controversy. As Los Angeles Times columnist LZ Granderson wrote in July:
Walker was clearly unfit for the job even before he announced, given his threats to have a "shootout" with police and the domestic violence allegations made against him in the early 2000s. Traditionally, conservatives would have disqualified him for the things that were revealed after his announcement, such as lying about serving in law enforcement and dissembling about the number of children he has fathered.
But alas, no matter how many times he is revealed to have said something that wasn't true—including his claim that he graduated from college—polls continue to show him in a virtual dead heat with incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).
As of Monday, RealClearPolitics' polling average had Warnock—who entered the Senate after winning a runoff race in January 2021—at just 4.4 points above Walker.
Politico pointed out Monday that "critically, there's another candidate on the ballot in November, Libertarian Chase Oliver, pulling in a few points of support in some surveys. While Warnock is leading in a number of polls, he's not clearing 50% in many. And in Georgia, if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, the top two proceed to a head-to-head December 6 runoff."
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), by texting "START" to 88788, or through chat at thehotline.org. It offers 24/7, free, and confidential support.
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community and was authored by Jessica Corbett.