Christian Walker is a conservative social media personality and podcast host whose father, businessman and college football legend Herschel Walker, is the Republican nominee running against Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock in this year's midterm elections.
But father and son have rarely overlapped in public this year — until this week, when the younger Walker denounced his dad in a series of social media posts and videos.
Christian Walker's criticism was driven, he said, by the latest of Herschel Walker's scandals: On Monday night, the candidate denied a Daily Beast report that he paid for an ex-girlfriend's abortion in 2009. He has campaigned for the Senate as an anti-abortion politician.
Of the Daily Beast story, Herschel Walker told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday: "It's a lie."
His son used that same word to attack him.
MORE: 2022 midterm election campaign trail: News and live updates
“People on the right are pulling up that I did a campaign event with my dad last year … I did one event last year when we were told he was going to get ahead of his past and hold himself accountable,” Christian Walker said in one of his videos this week after the Daily Beast story.
“None of that happened. Everything’s been a lie,” he said. “Don’t lie about your life at the expense of me, my mom and all of the people that you’ve affected throughout your life. You don’t get to pretend you’re some moral family guy.”
Christian Walker did not respond to multiple requests for an interview from ABC News.
In his social media posts, Christian Walker alluded to other controversies his father has played down, including news articles this year that Herschel Walker has multiple kids while only publicly acknowledging Christian. ("Saying I hide my children because I don't discuss them with reporters to win a campaign? That's outrageous," Herschel said in a statement this summer.)
Christian Walker took another view.
"You know my favorite issue to talk about is father absence. Surprise! Because it affected me," he said in one Tuesday video, adding, "He has four kids, four different women. Wasn't in the house raising one of them."
The evening before, shortly after the Daily Beast report, Christian Walker wrote on Twitter, "[H]ow DARE YOU LIE and act as though you're some 'moral, Christian, upright man.' You've lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you."
In another tweet, Christian Walker wrote "Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past."
Herschel Walker tweeted this week, too. "I LOVE my son no matter what," he wrote.
Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event on Sept. 9, 2022, in Gwinnett, Ga.Megan Varner/Getty Images
Who is Christian Walker? School athlete turned social media star
Christian Walker, 23, is the only child of Herschel Walker and Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, the candidate's first wife. They married in 1983 after meeting at the University of Georgia, where the elder Walker found football success and Grossman ran track.
Christian Walker was born in 1999 in Dallas soon after Herschel Walker retired from the Dallas Cowboys, the last professional team for which he played. He and Grossman divorced in 2002, when their son was 3 years old.
Grossman sought and was granted a restraining order against Herschel Walker in 2005.
In a 2008 interview with ABC News' "Nightline," Grossman offered a troubling glimpse into the final years of their relationship, claiming that her ex-husband once threatened her with a weapon.
"He got a gun, and he put it to my temple," she told "Nightline."
"Put the gun right to your temple," ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff replied, "and what did he say?"
"I'm gonna blow your effin' brains out," Grossman said.
Herschel Walker claimed not to remember that specific incident — which he suggested was a byproduct of his diagnosis with dissociative identity disorder, or D.I.D., a complex mental health condition characterized by some severe and potentially debilitating symptoms. He has since contended he received therapy and is "healed" of his D.I.D., and he has said he's taken responsibility for any past transgressions — something his son took issue with this week.
Court records related to Grossman's divorce proceedings contain additional allegations that Herschel Walker made threats of violence toward her and her then-boyfriend. Herschel Walker denied those allegations when he was interviewed by police in 2005.
Christian Walker, son of U.S. Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, Herschel Walker, speaks in a post from his Twitter feed, Oct. 4, 2022.ChristianWalk1r/Twitter
Becoming a political personality
Christian Walker, though now a vocal political conservative with hundreds of thousands of social media followers, said last year he seldom heard or spoke about politics growing up, even from his dad.
"It's so weird, but we didn't talk about it, ever, in my house," he said in a 2021 interview with former President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara.
"My dad especially, like, I don't recall him really having the news on. My mom occasionally had the news on. I didn't really pay attention," Christian Walker said then, "and then when I was about 14 years old, [I started] listening and paying attention to politics."
He was also around 14 years old when he began to cheer competitively, including for Spirit of Texas, one of the most renowned programs in the country. He ran track on his high school team, too.
He previously said that he never felt he disappointed his dad by cheerleading instead of playing football. In a 2015 CBS News interview, Herschel Walker said he was "proud" that his son was in such an athletic sport.
At 16, the younger Walker won the 2016 World Championship of All Star Cheerleading at Disney World and went on to cheer at Southern Methodist University. He graduated in the spring from the University of California, Los Angeles, and moved to Florida — having chafed at California's progressive politics, he said, while longing for a "free" state.
Since high school, he has increasingly focused on his conservative viewpoint and his social media persona.
In 2020, he reportedly led a "Gays for Trump" march in West Hollywood outside Los Angeles and he built an online presence in large part due to snide and tongue-in-cheek commentary on social and political issues — such as testing whether Chick-fil-A chicken "straightens him out" — while drawing fans, critics and many commenters.
His content, uncompromising and brash, has spanned videos about "blue-hair liberal" types, complaints about the rising prices of gas and all the latest from his waterfall of disappointments while dating men. (He has said he is uncomfortable with the term "gay.")
Often, he narrates his videos from the Starbucks drive-thru line, where he will then characteristically interrupt his impassioned monologues to order a drink. Some of his online activity has spilled into spats out of the car — but still in the to-go line — such as when he confronted R&B artist Kehlani, after he said Kehlani called him an "a–hole" while ordering.
He's tried to craft an image separate from that of his father's, he has said, and he has rarely used his social media accounts to boost his father's political efforts.
"I've tried to build my platform around myself and not just under his shadow or whatever," he told Lara Trump last year.
The younger Walker joined his father last December to support his candidacy, introducing him at an event at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
Separately, Christian Walker also sold some pro-Herschel Walker merchandise this year through his website, though those items appear to have been removed.
On Twitter this week, he claimed that he largely opted out of his dad's campaign due to how his father was handling his personal baggage.
"We were told he was going to 'get in front of his past and tell the truth,'" he wrote. "You know, before he started lying."