Allegations of domestic and intimate partner violence have followed Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker for years, and now a third former long-term girlfriend of Walker’s has come forward with further stories about his violent tendencies.
Cheryl Parsa told the Daily Beast in an article published Thursday that, in 2005, when she was dating Walker, she arrived at his home and found him with another woman. He allegedly put his hands on Parsa’s chest and throat, screamed at her, and began swinging his fists at her. As she fled from him, she says Walker began to “punish” himself, “beating himself up against the wall repeatedly and with force.”
Parsa said she feared for her safety if she stayed with Walker. But Dr. Jerry Mungadze, Walker’s therapist, convinced her to remain in the relationship. Mungadze assigned her the role of Walker’s “savior...the only person who could get through” to him, Parsa said, and disclosed to her just how serious Walker’s dissociative identity disorder (DID) was.
Parsa said that Mungadze at one point recalled an incident when Walker held him, Walker’s ex-wife, and another woman—the same woman Parsa saw in Walker’s house that day—hostage, threatening to kill everyone in the room and himself. Mungadze was able to convince Walker to let the women go and then called the police. In 2011, Mungadze recounted the incident in an article in Playboy, but didn’t mention the presence of the women.
Mungadze, a controversial therapist with a history of promoting anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy, seemed to enable Walker, Parsa told the Daily Beast. Parsa said that over the course of her five-year relationship with Walker, she felt that she was being “manipulated” by Walker and Mungadze, both of whom blamed Walker’s bad behaviors on his disorder.
“[Mungadze] told me that he had treated dozens of people with DID, but that Herschel’s was ‘the worst case I’d ever seen,’” Parsa said, adding that she quickly realized this for herself. She said she discovered 20 of Walker’s different personalities, which he called “alters,” and became increasingly afraid as Walker would often carry his gun around, switching between identifying as an FBI agent and a child. Some of Walker’s identities didn’t even know each other, she said. (In Walker’s 2009 memoir, Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder, he claims that he had 12 different “alters.”)
Parsa told the Daily Beast she has serious concerns about Walker’s mental fitness to be a senator, given everything she’s witnessed and experienced firsthand, and the detrimental impact that pressure and stress can have on people with DID. She believes one of his “alters” is influencing his behavior on the campaign trail: “I am once again witnessing the child alters who cannot construct a complete sentence on the national stage, now speaking out on issues like gun violence and environmental issues,” Parsa said.
Walker has insisted that he’s cured and “free” of DID, but experts told the Daily Beast that it’s a highly difficult condition to control and requires ongoing psychotherapy. DID specialists also noted that there’s no evidence DID itself makes individuals more violent, and someone with DID should still be held accountable for their violent behaviors.
Four other ex-girlfriends of Walker’s spoke to the Daily Beast for this story, and three said he’d made them feel unsafe, and recounted his extensive lying, cheating, instability, and struggles with DID. There’s pretty substantial and consistent evidence of Walker’s lying through the years. In 2010, he appeared on Howard Stern’s show and claimed he’d only ever had sex with two women, but by that point, he’d already had three kids with three different women and allegedly paid for two partners’ abortions. He’s denied even knowing women who have presented evidence of romantic relationships with him, as well as credible, extensive evidence that he pressured them to have abortions and paid for the procedure.
In 2008, Walker’s first wife, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman, came forward about Walker’s violent behavior toward her. “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,” Grossman said. She added that “his eyes would become very evil, the guns and knives,” and that she “got into a few choking things with him.” Last December, Walker admitted to being “accountable” for past violent acts he’d inflicted on Grossman, but he’s continued to blame his DID and said he doesn’t remember holding a gun to Grossman’s head. In October, Walker’s son Christian said that Walker repeatedly threatened to kill both him and his mother, which forced them to move “six times in six months.”
Last year, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported about another woman, Myka Dean, who told police that in 2012, Walker threatened to “blow her head off” and kill himself—a threat that sounds similar to the one Mungadze had recounted to Parsa.
Last month, Walker’s Democratic opponent for Georgia’s Senate seat, Sen. Raphael Warnock, won about 35,000 more votes than Walker, but failed to reach 50% of the vote, steering their race into a run-off. That vote is set for Dec. 6, this coming Tuesday.